Somewhere in the midst of the relationship ending and then the Border Collie, Cynder and I moving to a new place, my ex A and I had to begin to prepare the girls for their own imminent separation. We had come to the agreement that the Border Collie, Cynder would come with me and the Beagle, Luna would stay behind with A. This wasn’t going to be an easy task as they are both quite fond of each other. I knew that Cynder would take it a bit easier, but Luna had really become attached to having another pup around to play with.
About a week before the Border Collie, Cynder and I were due to leave we made a few small changes at home to help them get used to living apart:
Sleeping arrangements: The girls would normally sleep in the laundry together at night, they knew the command ‘bed’ and would go straight there when told. For the last week before we moved the Beagle, Luna stayed in the laundry and the Border Collie’s bed was moved into the bathroom. This helped to transition them and get them used to sleeping apart from each other.
Walking: We would usually walk both of them together at the same time, which was always interesting, as Cynder would need to be the dog at the front, or she would pull until she was walking in front of Luna. Walks became separate occasions, Luna with A and Cynder with me. Cynder is a lot calmer on walks when she is by herself.
Feeding: Another change that we made was to separate their meals so they were used to not being around another dog when eating. Cynder would get fed whilst Luna was on a walk and then I would bring Cynder inside whilst Luna was eating. Cynder had started to get a bit controlling of Luna at feeding times so this gave Luna a chance to get back into her own routine.
Directly following the move the Border Collie, Cynder had the new house all to herself for the first couple of days. I noticed that she begun to sit by the back door and would occasionally whimper or bark to get my attention. I didn’t give in to her demands and if she was quiet I would go outside and play a game of fetch with her or let her inside for a while. I kept her routine as normal as possible in the new house and she had established her territory by the time the Beagle, Luna came to stay for the Christmas period.
The girls got to spend one last week together, encompassing Christmas and they both enjoyed ripping open their presents on Christmas morning and then running around like mad in the yard. Once the week was over and A returned to pick up Luna, it was a time where I wished they understood what was happening. My heart broke the next day when I went to pick up the last of my belongings from the old house and the Beagle, Luna, couldn’t control her excitement. She showed me everything in the backyard like I had never been there before. I gave her a big cuddle and said goodbye, I wasn’t sure when I would be seeing her again.
It’s been a difficult time for us all. The Beagle, Luna has stopped howling all the time and is enjoying her walks and time spent with A. Cynder doesn’t whine as much but she always wants to play, she’s not often without a toy in sight. Of course, it hasn’t been easy for me either. There are days that are more difficult than others, but I am never lonely, because just outside or running around the loungeroom chasing after her Platypus toy, is my heart dog, my Border Collie, my Cynder.