Treating Tallulah’s Cabin Fever

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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.