Guess What Time It Is?

PCS Time! What does PCS mean? Well, let me share with you. Its a time of major transition and this time it means moving to a new country. As many readers of my blog know, my husband is active duty military and his job requires frequent moves like every 2-3 year moves. This frequent transition is hard not only on Eddie and I, but also on our Bears, Jack and Bernie. I think Jack is more used to it than Bernie. Whenever I take stuff off the walls or pull out boxes, Bernie goes back to his old ways and hides under the bed. He’s sensitive and his change in behavior makes me pause and recognize it’s a challenging time. I love my family and I strive in finding ways I can make the move a bit easier.

Fortunately for us humans, we are moving to Germany. Eddie I were there almost 10 years ago and are excited about doing all the traveling we weren’t able to accomplish together the first time. We’re ready for Germany 2.0. Unfortunately, the Bears aren’t aware of the major change they will go through too. Jack and Bernie aren’t consoled or reassured with words of compassion and strength. They are reassured by us through sticking to our routine of daily walks and enrichment activities (practicing obedience cues and play time). Jack became more settled as we remained consistent with our training and setting up situations our home where his separation anxiety doesn’t get triggered and he’s actually overcome with time. Bernie was insecure and timid, but as established ourselves as a family unit, Bernie became more confident with adapting to changes which occurred for short periods of time like my hours at work went over my usual time, we stayed out late with some friends or didn’t get a chance for our walkies because of the weather being terrible for several days in a row. Now, like when we moved from El Paso, TX to Lawton, OK, Bernie senses major change is coming and he’s hiding under the bed like he did when we first adopted him. He’s also whining when we come home from being gone for any length of time. We are once again finding our selves ignoring Bernie for longer periods of time when we arrive and leaving more things for them to do when we leave. I took advantage of all the progress we made by thinking and assuming they “got this”. Bernie makes me pause and realize he’s having a hard time and its our job in helping him feel comfortable again.

All I know and I’m proud of is not considering anything else than taking Jack and Bernie with us to Germany. The military and military families do get a bad wrap because they are notorious for high turnover of their pets because of a move or deployment. I get it. Its overwhelming for families to also think about and plan for their pets too. It takes time, brain power and extra money in moving your pets, especially overseas moves. I’m here to tell you, it can be done with some planning, saving and research. Our personal experience, Eddie and I’ve moved 3 times with our pets. We’ve moved back to the states from Germany with Jack Bear and moved to Oklahoma with both Bears and now to do the same with our move to Germany. Now, things are a bit different. I have to fly separately because of zero pet space on his flight and wait to get picked up in Frankfurt. I’m totally comfortable with me, Jack and Bernie traveling without Eddie. I know we’ll get this done. I did my research and found flying United will be the most comfortable and affordable way for us to move. My advice, is ask questions and call or email companies about what they can offer. Save money during your time at the next duty station and even consider setting up a pet savings account for their move. All of these things will make you, your dog’s family ready for the next transition.

Now, I just want to be there. Germany or Bust 2017!!

Published by houndbiz

Katherine Porter is a force free, reward based dog behavior advisor and consultant serving clients and their companion dogs worldwide. Her calm and gentle approach in coaching clients in effectively communicating what they want to their dog blends her MSW background into her dog training and behavior practice. Katherine was a behavior consultant for Heeling Hounds after graduation. She opened Four Paws and You Dog Training LLC when the military relocated her family to Fort Sill, OK in 2015. During this time, she volunteered with Rainbow Bridge Can Wait where she provided post adoption consultations to new pet parents. She also developed and implemented tailored behavior modification plans for highly reactive dogs residing at the shelter. She also provided educational programs to military children through interactive workshops at the Fort Sill School Age Center. In 2017, Katherine relocated Four Paws and You Dog Training LLC to Germany. She served the Armed Forces communities in Bavaria. She continued coaching and advising her clients in addressing their companion dog’s fearful and reactive behavioral issues. Katherine takes a Do No Harm approach first and foremost in providing behavioral plans. She is committed in serving clients with gentle and modern science approaches in modifying behavioral concerns such as reactivity, aggression, separation anxiety and fear based responses. Katherine is a member of the Pet Professional Guild. She is focused on integrating a holistic and modern approach in addressing her client’s pet companion reactive behavior issues.

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