Last Sunday some friends of ours invited Manel and I to spend the day at their place in Barcelona. They very kindly allowed us to take Nix with us, so she wouldn’t have to spend the day on her own or with a dog sitter.
Therefore, on Sunday morning we took the train with Nix, for her first 30-minute train ride. The longest she had been on the train up to that moment was around 10 minutes. On Sunday she got in and out of the train on her own, and she really enjoyed the ride. I’ve got the theory that, just like the car, the train movement relaxes her.
Nix behaved really well on both rides, except for the fact that on our way to Barcelona, and just as we were about to get off the train, she saw an Asian young woman next to a suitcase that had wheels. She has a bit of a weird fixation on rolling suitcases, and she concentrated her gaze on the suitcase. Meanwhile, the Asian woman started to be afraid, probably wondering whether the dog would do anything to her (she wouldn’t), and at one point Nix started to bark. She got scolded after that and immediately afterwards we got off the train. My theory is that Nix thought there was something fishy seeing the woman’s movement or she noticed her fear, and she decided to go on alert mode.
The walk to our friend’s place was fine – there were people in the streets, but not too many. Once at their flat, Nix adapted pretty quickly in part thanks to an ox nerve stick that she really loves. However, she spent most of the day barking from time to time. Our friends’ neighbours were moving, and so there was probably more noise than usual. This, together with the fact that we were in a new place, and that lately she’s been barking more, made for an explosive combination. I do hope, however, that if there’s a next time, she won’t bark as much.
The nasty surprise of the day came when we went out for walk so that Nix could relieve herself. Our friends live in the city centre, and there was not a single decent park for dogs around. We went to a couple of squares / parks which had no grass or ground in which dogs could run. I realised how lucky we are to live where we live, where there are at least two parks within a short walking distance and the beach. Fortunately, just as we were walking back, Nix finally relieved herself in the street and not in their flat.
Around 17:00 we decided it was time to go back home. Once we reached the train station in Barcelona, we convinced Nix to go down to the platform using a stopped escalator. She was pretty scared but she managed to overcome her fears with some encouragement from Manel and myself. She got a reward once she arrived at the platform.
The platform itself was packed and Nix wasn’t very comfortable, but it wasn’t bad enough that she stressed out. Once in the train, everything was fine. A couple of security agents came to ask if we had a muzzle, we told them that we did but that Nix hates wearing it. As she was behaving really well, they told us to put it on her if she got nervous or there was another dog around.
Overall, I think our day out in Barcelona was a good experience for Nix. She rode the train, which she really likes, she walked the streets of a big city, and she was able to rest at our friends’ place. Oh, and she got petted by plenty of people.