We’re going to have a lot of visitors for Christmas, our routine is going to be violently disturbed. But I hope following some simple rules will make it enjoyable rather than stressful. And as it’s my house people must follow my rules.
The dogs are not to be approached unless they want it (all my friends and family know how to greet a dog anyway).
The dogs have safe space (one of the bedrooms upstairs) where no humans are allowed (well, apart from me an my husband, that is). Fresh water and dry food is provided there.
The dogs will have an extra long walk every day to provide them with exercise and prevent additional anxiety.
Newly introduced humans will have treats-to be taken or refused, whatever Lily and Brian decide. However, only calm greeting is rewarded with a treat.
The guests are not allowed to stare at the dogs (sideways stance/ sideways glance rule), chase them, try to grab them or behave in an irrational manner.
There are not going to be any children in our house, which makes it easier. The two people who Brian doesn’t know yet are (fortunately) women. I let him sniff at their slippers and a t-shirt (which he thinks is fascinating). Yes, I did ask them to provide the items beforehand, which they found slightly amusing.
I love Christmas and I love having my friends and family around then. I wouldn’t like my favourite time of the year to be a nightmare for the dogs. After all, they are my family, too and I want them to be happy and relaxed, surrounded by the sense of safety and love.
In case you wonder: I do have friends. Incidentally, all of them love dogs…