She Says… Whoa

Whoa. Two weekdays in a row without posting? Sorry, folks. Yesterday I headed to the new house and worked from there so I could meet with an electrician and a painter to get some things organized before we move in. They were both SUPER nice and able to accommodate us before the move date, which is awesome. I could be wrong, be people seem nicer out here 🙂 In Boston I always felt like people like plumbers and electricians were pretty much just out to steal my money. Maybe these guys are too, but at least they do it with a smile.

I brought Schnitzel along so he wouldn’t be at our other house alone all day. I wanted him to begin to get used to the new house as well.

I’m sure we’ve written about it before, but it’s worth saying again… Schnitzel is a HUGE baby. He is the sweetest, gentlest, funniest dog, but he has more than his fair share of irrational fears. Maybe it’s the poodle in him — too smart for his own good. He’s scared of trash bags. I think it’s the way they move on their own when the trash settles. He’s scared of plastic bags blowing in the wind. He’s scared of the vacuum cleaner (we call it “Schnitzel’s Nemesis”). He’s scared of hallways with corners. If he can’t see the end of the hallway, he won’t go down it. Now, I realize this is very smart, actually, because it means he won’t get stuck in a dead-end tunnel. But it also means he won’t go down stairways that have a corner, like to a basement.

Apparently he’s also scared of stairs that have open railings (and openings between the stairs, forget it). You know how I know? Because he won’t come upstairs in the new house. When we were looking at houses we used to joke “We can’t buy this house because Schnitzel won’t be able to go up/down the stairs”. When we found this house we thought he’d be fine; there’s a wide staircase with solid stairs. One thing I didn’t consider, though, is that the spindles on the banister are open, and I think he’s scared to go up because he can see straight down. Crazy dog.

So yesterday when I went upstairs, Schnitzel waited (and whined) at the bottom of the stairs. I couldn’t get him to come up. Then this morning Benjamin and I were at the house comparing paint samples (more on that later), and we went upstairs and encouraged Schnitzel to follow us. Finally, after much cajoling, he came. He was shaking and cowering, but he came. At the top of the stairs he ran immediately into the nearest bedroom (Owen’s room). Once in there (safe on the carpet and out of the view of the open railing), he wouldn’t come out.

We tried luring with treats, pushing, pulling, taunting, encouraging and ignoring. He stayed, frozen, in Owen’s room.

FINALLY Benjamin thought of the one thing Schnitzel can’t resist. “Do you want to go outside?” Schnitzel paced back and forth and whined. Benjamin bounced a racquetball on the kitchen floor. After a pause we heard the click of Schnitzel’s nails and he stumbled down the stairs. Safe and sound.

Now I’m not sure he’ll ever go back up there. Anyone else dealt with crazy pets and new houses?

Oh, right, paint colors. Wanna see? The pictures are totally not the same colors, but you get the idea. The kitchen is going from a sandy beige (which is most of the house) to a slate gray-y blue. Benjamin’s Moore’s Brittany Blue.

Dining room is going from wine-y purple-y red to navy blue. I’m totally in love with this blue color. Benjamin Moore’s Spellbound.

I know most of you haven’t seen our current house (maybe I need to do a little house tour before we leave for good!), but we lurve deep, bold colors. More to come!

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13 responses to “She Says… Whoa

  1. New paint makes the house feel so fresh- how exciting!!

    Koda was a little nervous about any new sounds when we moved in (the guys mowing the lawn, the fan, the dryer), but she got used to them over time 🙂

  2. Rachel in NC

    My dog refused to go up and down the stairs at our new house alone for about a week. Now she tears up and down them like it’s nothing! She is also afraid of the vacuum, but I think that fear is here to stay.

    Have fun painting!

  3. Poor Schnitzel–I’ll bet once you guys get settled in he’ll start to feel more comfortable with the stairs. Are they hardwood? Could it be the wood stairs that he doesn’t like? My in-laws ha a dog that refused to walk on their kitchen floors because they were wooden. Once she got to the carpet, she was fine though.

  4. Poor Schnitzel! My dog is terrified of the baby gate we use to corral him in rooms….and is also afraid of the rustling sound of trash/plastic bags. Silly dogs.

  5. We got Peanut when we lived in a first floor apartment, so we when we moved to this house, she had never (not even once) gone on stairs. She would literally just fall face first down the stairs. Going up was find, but going down was a nightmare. We still have a rule that Peanut has to go first if I’m carrying the baby downstairs.

    Peanut is the queen of irrational fears as well. I find the only thing that helps is constant exposure and make sure you act like the whole thing is no big deal.

  6. Are the stairs wood/slippery? My dogs don’t like bare wood stairs because they slip. Use really high value treats to lure him (hotdogs, cheese, chicken, steak) and make it super positive. Go slow too. It may take a while, but he’ll come around. We also have a rule that the dogs must go down the stairs ahead of us when we are carrying the baby.

  7. It took my dog almost a week to poop at our new house. We even took a patch of grass from our old house for the familiar smell, but she wasn’t fooled. That was her only problem and it was a pain at the time, but everything has been great ever since.

  8. We love deep, bold colors as well! I’m painting an accent wall in my office at church (just one because there’s only one window and doesn’t get much light) ‘royal breeze’ – which is a deep blue. I love it!

  9. Lol we have 3 cats and one of our boys is terrified of the vacuum, the other 2 stalk/ attack it. It’s funny to watch our big hybrid cat bitch slap the vacuum hose lmao.

  10. Ha! I’m sure he’ll eventually get over it, no worries 🙂
    We have 3 cats and when we moved into our current house our 1 cat was scared of the stairs as well. The reason here was because our house is over 100 years old and the stairs are very creaky. She would full on growl when she heard the noise and would NOT go up or down them… The other 2 had no problem whatsoever… She’s over it now 🙂

  11. cant wait to see more of the new house!! definitely do “before” and “after” pics with the paint jobs you are about to do.

  12. We had a beagle who was afraid of everything – once refused to climb up the outside stairs to the deck because there was a FINCH sitting on them!!
    Our daughter’s cat cowered in their upstairs bedroom for weeks and weeks after they moved from a one bedroom apartment to a house. Now they are trying to move her litter from the bedroom that is now being prepared as a nursery (first grandchild!) to the basement. There is a room down there with a little cat door on it and when I was visiting recently they spent one hilarious evening pushing her back and forth through the cat door but she wouldn’t do it on her own but rather, would sit and look at it and cry to go through!

  13. Scared of hallways with corners? Bless his heart. That one made me giggle.

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