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overnight guest

My sister came to visit us. It was both wonderful (we hadn't seen each other for 5 years!) and stressful because of Skye. She doesn't really like strangers in her house, and we never had anyone stay overnight for several days.

On Catherine's arrival, we kept Skye separated. There was some barking but Skye stayed quite relaxed outside in the yard. But at night, she got spooked when she heard a noise coming from the usually empty guest room. She growled, barked, and lunged at my sister when she went to the bathroom. Luckily, we had a separation in place to protect our guest!

The next 2 days, Skye stayed mostly outside in the yard barking occasionally when my sister moved inside the house. We made several outings during the day to give her some respite. And when we settled in the living room in the evening, we let her come hang out with us. She did amazingly well as long as Catherine remained seated in the sofa.

The third day didn't go as well. My sister spent all day visiting San Francisco while we stayed home. And when she came back, Skye wasn't very happy and air snapped at her while she was quietly sitting in the living room. And we had a little difficulty getting her outside the room.

Air snaps show a lot of inhibition but this is not a behavior we want to repeat, so we decided to keep Skye separated till the end of Catherine's visit. Also since Skye was (and still is) going through a false pregnancy and was nesting in our bedroom, we chose to leave one day earlier on our trip.

Peter stayed home to look after her (and the chickens and the turkeys :). She didn't come in the house for 2 days and remained in her soft crate outside like she was scared of the house (or afraid my sister would still be there!). To our great relief, she did come inside for the night (cf. last summer sleepless nights in the yard). Eventually, she moved back inside the house and continued nesting in our bedroom.

When we came back home from our 6 day trip, we put a gate to fence off the living room so Skye would have access to the whole house except for that room. My sister was really cool about the whole thing because it really meant we were fencing her in that room. LOL.

The next day, Catherine flew back home and Skye was clearly relieved that the 'stranger' was gone for good (she checked the guest room couple times :).

All in all, we managed the visit the best we could, but we won't be receiving anyone overnight anytime soon. Too much stress for all involved. We are now taking a week off from people in the house, and will be resuming the work with our pet sitter next week.


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