The goal of having dogs be in a home away from home when we travel without them is a common goal. In the case of this Norwegian family, the man surprised his wife and kids as well as his Bulldog Igor, by literally building a home away from home.
It’s hard to say how big a difference this replica of their home made for Igor. There’s no doubt he can tell the difference between his home and his kennel. One of the best aspects of home is that his human family is there, and they were absent from the kennel. On the other hand, the familiarity of the objects and furniture in the new place were certainly likely to make him feel more at home, at ease and less stressed by the change.
The benefit to the human family members was also huge. Often the stress of leaving a dog at a kennel is more pronounced in the human family members than in the dog. When this man’s wife and kids saw that Igor was going to be in a place so much like home, they probably felt better about the whole situation.
The love of this man for his dog and the rest of the family is striking. I’m happy for Igor that he is in this family. The fact that such an effort was made on his behalf when they took a vacation suggests that this dog is never wanting for love, affection and thoughtfulness.
Karen B. London, PhD, is a Certified Applied Animal Behaviorist and Certified Professional Dog Trainer whose clinical work over the last 17 years has focused on the evaluation and treatment of serious behavioral problems in dogs, especially aggression. Karen has been writing the behavior column for The Bark since 2012 and wrote The Bark’s training column and various other articles for eight years before that. She is an adjunct professor in the Department of Biological Sciences at Northern Arizona University, and teaches a tropical field biology course in Costa Rica. Karen writes an animal column, The London Zoo, which appear in The Arizona Daily Sun and is the author of five books on canine training and behavior. She is working on her next book, which she expects to be published in 2017.