I’m up a dog for the week, and it’s made for some interesting times. I already have two dogs, an Aussie Shepherd and a Goldendoodle, and two kitties, and one extra Doodle has certainly made for some “paradigm shifting”.
They say that two’s company, and three’s a crowd? Probably true, especially with dogs. Where my two boys have their own language for relating to each other, my adopt-a-Doodle doesn’t quite understand what they’re getting at. She’s a little nervous about playing – they’re pretty rough.
I’m having to tap in to my dog-nature a lot. I’m trying to pick appropriate situations for them to try to spend time together, making sure everyone is calm and collected (and that they stay that way). I’m trying to pick up on my guest-doodle’s cues and not put her in any situations she might be uncomfortable with, and making sure she has an escape plan that she knows how to use if she needs it.
It’s been interesting for me in that usually I’m a pet-mom… my boys need attention individually from me much more than when they’re playing, and I rarely have to run interference. But with a guest in the house (and an extraordinarily gentle and sweet one at that) I’m really having to put my “pack leader” hat on. Everyone’s behaviour has been great so far. I’ve only had to correct it a few times, and even then in very minor ways, which is impressive. It’s made me see my relationship with them in a new light though… less mom-puppy and more pack leader-subordinate. It’s interesting to see their wilder side, and is a strong reminder that they are still wild animals. Cute, sweet, cuddly, fluffy ones, but they still have that *spark*. It just makes me love them all that much more.