My niece and nephew came for an overnight visit yesterday. I worried about how Kona would handle our visitors and how I should handle Kona. Luckily, yesterday evening was filled with activities outside the house, so Kona's routine went undisturbed.
This morning, we got out for a run before joining the morning festivities with the kids. We headed to the ridge with the goal of putting in some extra time. I need to step up my marathon training and I hoped to get Kona's energy under control to make things at the house easier.
We found our rhythm and before I knew it, the sun crested the mountains. Kona did some extra exploring, her nose always at work. At one point she froze, sniffing the air.
Can you see what she smelled?
Our run ended too quickly. The day was beautiful and I didn't want to take Kona home where she would be stressed. We were homeward bound nonetheless.
Back at home, things went well. Like many fearful dogs, Kona has a hard time with kids. She's fine with the spastic noises, but not with the spastic movement. Luckily, she didn't feel threatened by my niece and nephew. I knew this because (besides her welcome growl when they arrived) she didn't bark or growl at anyone.
I kept her in the living room with a baby gate when anyone was up and moving. While obviously a bit anxious, she had no trouble eating breakfast and working on a stuffed kong. She also laid down in her bed. When the kids were busy with a stationary activity, I let Kona out. She had no problems approaching the kids for sniffs (though sometimes with giraffe neck) but did several Scooby-Doo runs whenever someone moved unexpectedly.
The best thing for me to see was how quickly Kona bounced back from the scarier moments. Also, now that the house is ours again, she's relaxing as though it's the end of any other day. She's not extra jumpy, sensitive or showing other signs of lingering stress hormones. That seems to say that although Kona wasn't comfortable, her stress never reached a point of no return. I'll take that as a good day.