Charlie loved routines as much as my wife, Michelle, hates them. I'm more like Charlie was than Michelle. From January - March 2009 Michelle and I worked hard to get our home in Toronto ready to rent in April because we needed to move to Winnipeg and care for her ailing father.

Throughout the turmoil that came with the rennovation, cleaning, decluttering, packing and moving process I did my best to keep Charlie calm by respecting + defending his routine: including his feeding, walk and resting times.

To make a long story short, we got through it all and set up a new life in Winnipeg where we were better able to care for Michelle's father.

And our Charlie become a different dog.

In Toronto he was the cock of the walk, the dominant dog who challenged all comers to his territories. But here he knows that he's the new kid on the block. He treads lightly and never strays far from my side when we're out for a walk. In hindsight, it took about a month of walking the same 4 km. route each day for him to relax and establish a new territory that he felt that he could mark + make his own. Over time that first month of ground-work paid dividends. He become more relaxed, walked with greater confidence and purpose and looked forward to being out and about again.

Importantly, we always had to explore his territory clockwise - with a left turn onto the main road.


Please re-read the opening sentence.