They say you can’t teach an old dog new tricks. How about teaching an old dog to like a new home?

We’ve been trying to acclimate Magic and Molly to their new residence by taking them over for brief periods of time and making it a purely fun occasion. They get treated with snacks of their favorite food (Cesar, which I call the McDonald’s of dog food). They find new squeaky toys hidden in various places. They get to go for walks.

We hope to make every experience in this new place a positive one.

But still, they’re nervous.

Especially Magic, who is the eldest.

In years past, they traveled with us to Florida on several occasions and were wonderful travelers, making themselves at home in any of the various hotels we stopped at along the way, and settling into the Naples house quickly and comfortably. But it’s clear they don’t quite get what’s going on here, why we drive over to this strange place every couple of days, why mom and dad are so eager to make it fun and keep using those high pitched “ain’t this grand” voices (like they use at the vet or the groomer’s).

Even I’m aware that I sound a little desperate, trying to cajole them into liking something just because I like it.

Magic wanders around the house with his plume-like tail dusting the floor, dogging my every step (pun intended) lest I disappear from sight and leave him behind in this weird place. Molly flops down on the chilled tile in the foyer, but persistently raises her head and stares at me with a worried expression, panting slightly for emphasis.

Truth be told, I understand their wariness only too well. How am I going to acclimate myself to all the changes that are about to unfold? As much as I want this and feel like it’s the right move at the right time, there’s no denying it’s an apocalyptic change in our lives. In all the packing and planning, it’s easy enough to forget that so many things will never be the same again. And for someone like me, who thrives on routine and safety and sameness, that’s a frightening concept.

I’ve been wearing my optimism and excitement like a shield, keeping my fears at bay. But somewhere inside me is a skittery old dog who isn’t quite sure what the hell is going on or whether she’s going to like it.

Learning new tricks isn’t always easy. But I do have one advantage over the canine members of my family. I have better recall of times when change has worked to my advantage. I have better recollection of my own abilities to overcome temporary hardship and come out happier on the other side.

I have the ability to reason - and so I understand that one moment of uneasiness or discomfort does not spell the end of the world.

And so we will persevere in our journey of acclimation to things new and different.

And look forward to our just reward in the end.

Write On Wednesday: Putting It Off

Just as soon as I've finished my morning coffee (two cups, black) and set aside my book, Magic jumps up from his perch beside me in the big green chair and settles expectantly on the floor in front of me. His gracefully plumed tail starts to wag, and, head lowered slightly, he looks out from under slightly overgrown eyebrows with those huge brown eyes of his. A low rumble emerges from his throat, an "nnrrr"-ing sound that is his way of urging me out of my chair and out the door.

It's walk time.

Some mornings (mostly winter mornings) I think about invesing in some indoor Pet Waste Stations or dog exercise equipment. But since I've not done that, I put on my coat, hat, earmuffs, gloves and boots.

And we walk.

When we come in, I'm cold. I need more coffee, so I rinse out the pot from this morning, dump the used filter into the garbage, measure out another four cups of cold water and two scoops of fresh Gevalia coffee. While I'm waiting - and waiting - and waiting - for it to make it's way through the pot, past the grounds, and into the carafe (final destination my china mug), I flip open my iPad and check in with social media. Any new video's of Connor this morning? Yes? I watch it once, then twice, then maybe a third time, lapping up ever little coo, squawk, kick, and squiggle.

By this time, the coffee's done. But wait - before pouring a new cup, I'd better feed the dogs. I open the refrigerator and find the small Pyrex dish containing boiled chicken breast strips. I spoon two out, shred them into tiny bites, pour some broth over them, and pop them into the microwave for 20 seconds. Then I add a scoop of kibble on top.

Dog breakfast.

Now it's time for coffee.

And time to hit my desk. Writing projects await. Blog posts are due, publicity articles and e-mails for Paul's Players, the community theater group I'm helping my friend get off the ground. There's an idea for an essay I keep meaning to explore - (The Blessed Bean-My Love Affair With Coffee).

I pour a fresh cup of said Blessed Bean, and start off toward my writing room. On the way, I notice the pile of laundry I meant to throw in the washer before heading out on the walk. I really need that sweater washed, because I want to wear it tomorrow. It won't take long to do that, so I gather it up and head downstairs to the laundry room.

On my way back up, I spy the canvas bag of books I meant to go through to determine which ones to donate to the library book sale. Those need to be dropped off later today. I settle onto the little couch at the bottom of the basement stairs and paw through the stack. There's a copy of Jonathan Franzen's The Corrections - I didn't know I had that! I don't think I ever read that! I open the cover and read a few pages. Nope, not one bit familiar, but pretty good. I'd better keep this one for a while.

The washing machine beeps. Could that laundry be done already? How long have I been sitting here?

You've got to get back started on that writing, I tell myself.

Quit putting it off and get busy.

 How about you? Do you find lots of ways to put writing off? How do you get yourself into gear? Check out this week's Write On Wednesday to see what did the trick for me.