Welcome to New Beginnings

I’ve been living in Philadelphia for about three weeks now, and I’m finally starting to settle in. This week, my roommate and I took on the challenge of dogsitting my parents’ two very rural Pennsylvania dogs.

That’s Bailey on the left (Labradoodle) and Margo on the right (Golden Retriever).

Originally, Bailey was mine. I took her to college with me to train her as a Psychiatric Service Dog to help me deal with my Major Depression and Generalized Anxiety. Turns out she had more anxiety than even I did, but it worked for us. She was so terrified all the time, so I spent all my time trying to comfort her and working with her to keep her calm. It kept us both calm. She ended up being more of an Emotional Support Animal than a Service Dog, but she definitely helped me stay in school and make it to graduation.

Margo was acquired simply as a family dog, and she is perfect. She’s dumber than a box of rocks and sweeter than candy. Both of them bark constantly at my parents’ house, which isn’t a big deal because neighbors are pretty spaced out. It’s been a challenge adjusting them to the noises of city life. Initially, they barked at every slamming car door, every beep from a car horn, every sound of a person walking by our house, every time the neighbors would go in their back yards. They’ve gotten a lot better. Now they bark when there’s a knock at the door or when it sounds like someone is right outside our front windows, which I suppose is good. They’re excellent watchdogs. No one will be entering our house without us knowing.

I’d love to have my dog here in the city with me, but she’s just not made for it. Bailey is simply terrified every time we walk out the door. Margo is her Emotional Support Animal. They are incredibly bonded and it’s not fair for me to separate them. So they’ll go back to Mom and Dad’s this Saturday. I’ll miss them terribly, but they’ll be back to familiar surroundings.

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