I had an appointment yesterday that I feel would benefit any person relocating with animals.
This particular session involved dogs being left here, with family, and a horse that would be relocating with his owner.
First, the dogs. Client was concerned that not being able to take the dogs would create hurt feelings and possible abandonment issues. While she was explaining the situation both dogs jumped in immediately with their views. They were not concerned, in the least, as they felt their "home & people" were actually with the parents. Yes, they loved her and enjoyed her company very much, both dogs were quite adament that their place was here and that they had clearly defined jobs with the parents. One was quite vocal in talking about his "job" in being with the dad and then explained why in detail, most of which I explained out loud to the family, but much that I did not as the dog went into explicit detail about his relationship "with his dad" that would not have been appropiate to share with the females present.
Second was the horse that would be relocating with his mom. He is 20 so did not have any fear issues about what was going to happen, like a young horse would, just concerns.
What exactly would the travel arrangements be, how long would it take, would he be able to get off the trailer whenever it stopped, would there be food and water during the trip, would he know anyone doing the traveling with him, would he be traveling with other horses or alone (he had an option here and what constituted his preference was quite informative) when would he see his mom again, what would their life be like there, what size would his living & grazing spaces be, what would the general makeup of age ranges be with the new horses. He also had recommendations for his mom in how they could communicate with each other while they were separated, particularly to make the separation easier on HER
At the end of the session both mom and horse felt much more confident and at ease with the whole situation because they now both clearly understood what the plan was. Animals ALWAYS want to know the plan!
Hopefully this serves as a general education for people in how their animals view this kind of situation