His name is Bob and he came to us because my friend Candace posted his picture on Facebook, saying that he'd spent the last few freezing nights on a chain with a small doghouse for shelter, He's eight months old, a neutered male English Shepherd and I thought he would fit in to our pack . . .
Ali surprised me by disagreeing (we keep Otis and Ali four day s a week -- doggy day.care.) Willa too thought it was a Bad Idea -- especially when I paid attention to the new guy. So we spent yesterday adjusting attitudes -- starting with keeping Ali and Bob leashed and Ali restrained. Willa made horrible faces and cursed when Bob came near her but I just tossed a blanket over her and let her carry on like an idiot. Bob was perplexed but not afraid.
A diversion was needed and John made a run to the grocery for rawhide chews.
Bob got one . . .
Otis (who has been a perfect gentleman about the new guy) got one . . .
Ali got one . . . as did Willa and Dan . . . and they all chewed in quiet solidarity.
Bob hid his in the ficus tree pot and got another.
By the afternoon, Bob and Ali had played together, rough-housing and tail-wagging, and things were no longer tense, Bob likes to chase tennis balls and I saw him twice roll a ball to Ali, trying to initiate a game. Willa has her nose out of joint and is still growling and cursing but nobody takes her seriously.
Everybody got lots of attention and special treats and all kinds of carrying on. It's exhausting but worthwhile to see the change in attitudes over the day.
The kittehs mostly stayed in the bedroom till Otis and Ali left. Bob is both interested in them and intimidated by them (they make awful faces too. He doesn't seem to want to hurt them but he bounces at them (like Tigger) and they puff up and hiss. I'm pretty sure this will change.
Bob will be leashed when he's outside till we feel confident he'll come when called. His previous owners gave him up because he ran off. We hope, that with our whole farm to roam, he'll be content to stay put.
He's a lovely, snuggly, boy with enough of the puppy left in him that we're having to be careful about what we leave lying around. (He was starting a little shoe collection till I realized what he was up to.)
He also reminds me a lot of our late sweet Bear -- though far more energetic. I suspect he's going to be every bit as good a dog as she was.