Treating Tallulah’s Cabin Fever

Tenth Day 1 thek9harperlee

This photo was taken in 2015 in front of my former home in Baton Rouge, Louisiana. My old neighborhood, fortunately, escaped the historic flooding that has devastated so many in Baton Rouge and throughout South Louisiana.

After a series of bright shiny days, the heavens opened above South Louisiana late last week. As bad as the rain was for us, it was much, much worse for the parishes (that’s what we call counties) around us. So many have lost so much. And, as I write this (or dictate it to my human mommy/blogging assistant), people and their pets are still being rescued from the flood waters. We wish our friends in neighboring parishes all the best as they begin the long and challenging recovery from unprecedented flooding. Water in your home is never a good thing.

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While thankfully we escaped the flooding, the rain brought its own set of challenges to our home. My little sister, Tallulah, developed a serious case of cabin fever. On normal mornings, Mommy and Tallulah start the day with a very long, very brisk walk. (My daily leisurely stroll follows.) The goal of these walks is to exhaust Tallulah’s excessive energy levels. The constant rain meant that–at best–Mommy and Tallulah could only dash around the block . . . not nearly enough to tame the beast. And that’s when Tallulah’s cabin fever started to set in. My human mommy quickly determined that we would not be able to cure Tallulah’s condition. We could only hope to control it.

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Mommy thought that occupying Tallulah’s mind might make her body forget that it was–essentially–caged. So she pulled out the puppy puzzles.

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This puzzle was mine long before Tallulah ever saw it, which is the case with most of the doggy things in our house. Here’s how it works: A human puts a treat in each of the little holes and then covers the little hole with the sliding cover. The dog is then supposed to slide the cover open to get the treat. This puzzle was a no-brainer for me. (You can click here to read how I conquered this challenge years ago.)

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Tallulah? Well, let’s just say that my little sister is pretty. Ok, that’s not quite fair. It took her a little longer than it took me, but she did ultimately figure out how to get to the treats . . . with one exception. There was something about those blue covers. She never once opened the blue covers. Mommy says an animal behaviorist would have a field day with that.

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When Tallulah started grabbing the first puzzle by those little knob things on the sliders and running around the house with it, Mommy decided that is was time to switch to another puzzle. (Clearly, this cabin fever treatment was not working.) So she pulled out another of my old puzzles. Again, the treats are placed under those blue paw-print covers and the object is to lift the covers off and get the treats. That’s the object, anyway.

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This one really threw poor pretty Tallulah for a loop. Perhaps it had something to do with the color blue again. Who knows? Although she wasn’t quite getting the hang of the puzzle, she was doing a fine impression of a Shar Pei.

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I have to give my little sister some credit and say that Tallulah eventually solved this puzzle. Gee, you really don’t know how hard it is for a big sister to say that. And I also have to admit that when I first approached these puzzles, I was a good bit older and wiser than Tallulah is now. But let the record show that I am the puppy puzzle queen in our house.

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Eventually we put the puzzles away and Tallulah and I got back to doing what we do best on a rainy day: driving Mommy crazy with our out-of-control wrestling. Uh oh, it looks like Tallulah’s strain of cabin fever just might be contagious.

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21 Comments on “Treating Tallulah’s Cabin Fever”

  1. Emmadog says:

    We have to go our for our morning walk or run in any weather. We will be out in pouring rain for an hour if necessary. When Bailie was a puppy, Mom ordered the agility tunnel and put that up in the house for us to play in. Bailie was too young to be out in the bitter winter cold for too long, and the tunnel helped burn off some of her energy. Hopefully the rain will stop soon.

    • It’s rained every day for more than a week, but thankfully just in the afternoon the last few days and not very hard, so we’ve been able to get those walks in. But reading about the agility tube makes Mommy think that a little stair work in the house might help to exhaust little Miss Tallulah!

  2. Cupcake says:

    Mom thought I’d NEVER be able to do my IQ puzzle. But where treats are involved, I am a GENIUS! I think T did a good job for her first time. Imagine how the cabin fever would be without toys and puzzles…. Yikes!

    Love and licks,
    Cupcake

    • If we didn’t have the toys and puzzles, Mommy would probably put *herself* in a crate. 😉 Tallulah was a little wound up (to say the least) when she first saw the puzzles. Maybe with enough exposure–and enough really tasty treats, her success rate will increase. Maybe. 🙂

  3. Our thoughts and prayers are with all those affected by the Louisiana rains. Be safe and know we’re all thinking of you. 💖 Hopefully the ankle bitting/cabin fever sessions aren’t too painful.

  4. It’s funny, I was reading this about the time you posted on the oh so long ago blog post we had! I have been thinking about all of you and Louie and I both are glad you are safe from the flooding. We moved, just around the corner (literally) but it’s still a ton of work and I’ve been supporting multiple projects at work for the past year so I have let the blog fall by the wayside. I hope to get back to it this fall.
    Louie is terrific and we have a great time together. I love the picture of Tallulah and Harper Lee with their mouths wide open! As I tell Louie every morning when he yawns, that mouth is so big, my whole head would fit inside of it!

    • I’m so happy to hear from you and happy to hear that you and Louie are well. We moved 15 months ago today and I’m still not back on track with the blog (which you probably gathered from this response that’s coming more than a month after your comment.). First I blamed it on the move, then on Tallulah’s entry into our lives, but now I’m pretty much out of excuses. Time to get my rear in gear! Looking forward to reading about your adventures.

  5. Ogee says:

    Devastating losses. I’m glad you are all safe. No escaping rainy days in your part of the world. Hopefully, they will be milder in future. When cabin fever hits, have you tried hide and seek? It starts with a smell of a favorite toy or tennis ball; then a sit and stay (good training time, too); while the pups wait patiently in one room, the toy is hidden in another; and then it’s “Find It!” time. Each “seek” gets progressively harder until everyone collapses, exhausted.

  6. tylersat99 says:

    They have been showing us during the news how much area is flooded, it’s devastating.I pray and feel so bad forall those people. I was worried about all of you so I am really happy you are all ok. About cabin fever, in July it rained 5 out of 7 days most weeks. Mica will just sleep but Aspen was going crazy. He got walks the few days it didn’t pour down and we got a few car rides but that’s just not enough. Hope you dry out soon so you can get back outside and have fun:)

    • Thank you so much for your prayers for our friends and neighbors. I was at the home of some flooded friends yesterday, and it’s still devastating . . . more than a month later. Everyone is working so hard to recover, but it’s going to be a long haul. The good news is that we’ve finally had a string of dry days this week. It’s time for a trip to the dog park for Miss Tallulah Bee.

  7. Jan K says:

    Some dogs are just a bit prettier than others. 🙂 We hope the cabin fever has lessened by now, and that everyone and their pets was rescued safely from those awful floods (and thank goodness you were all safe from that).

    • We’ve finally had a string of dry days this week, more than a month after the flooding. Efforts are still underway to unite pets with their families (heartbreaking), but they good news is that many homeless pets that were in shelters when the flooding happened have been transported to other parts of the country where they are finding forever homes. Hopefully those forever homes come with lots and lots of sunshine. 🙂

  8. cafall says:

    We aren’t looking forward to our first winter up here! Muddy and bored dogs!

    We love your rain jacket.

    Monty, Harlow and Ramble

    • Muddy winters are no fun. Mommy remembers our old back yard . . . huge with a super muddy perimeter throughout winter. Our new house just has a little courtyard, and with the addition of Tallulah to our family Mommy thanks her lucky stars for that!

  9. Oh my, sometimes Mom and Dads just end up with Pretty dogs, not Harper Lees 🙂 Hope you girls didn’t destroy the house!

  10. Piglove says:

    Shaking my head. Rainy days stink to the high heavens gorgeous. We all know that first hand here at the Hotel Thompson. But you know what my mom does when we all get what does she say…. loose our minds – snorts. There is one movie that she can put on the DVD player that we ALL calm down and actually watch it. It’s unbelievable. Usually mom puts this movie in when she is cleaning house or if she’s going to be gone for a couple of hours with daddy. The movie is called 1001 Dalmatians. We love it! Maybe ya’ll would like a good movie? XOXO – Bacon


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