there are priorities when any new animal comes in...
Carol · Dec. 24, 2010
first and foremost at all times is getting them to feel safe and emotionally comfortable here. with new animals this can be difficult...especially when you need to suggest to them that they probably should not be doing this or that. in molly2's case this is posing a bit of a minor problem cuz molly one keeps snapping at her face and i keep yelling at molly to knock it off and the other molly just thinks she did something wrong. oh...not you molly dear...that molly dear other there.
it also gets a bit confusing for her because molly 2 (and molly 1 for that matter) is not house trained...how could she be when she has always lived in the back yard? (molly one does not have that excuse, she was never a backyard dog for even one minute of her very long life!)..add to this that she really does not want to go outside because she might not get back in.
so when molly 2 has an accident and looks a bit worried..i have to tell her she is a good girl and it is ok. i am not telling her it is ok to pee or poop in the house..i am telling her it is ok that she has not learned that it is safe to go outside to do it yet.
i highly doubt she can differentiate between the two but it does make her feel safe.
this morning we took a step forward...she actually rushed to the door...stuck her 2 front feet out on the cement and squatted and peed in the doorway. ok so all of it landed on the lino inside jelly's small home...but hey..the effort was being made...very, very good dog!
molly met bibi, who snarled in her face...keep away from me big dog cuz if you bump and make me fall, i am so going to be pissed off. unlike jelly the tank-like idiot..molly 2 politely gave bibi some room.
i think intrinsically, molly is a very good dog but that is not what worries me as i get used to her...it is the fact that saints is so busy and so very full of very real life...which is something that our new molly is just not used to. she won't have a lot of coping skills for dealing with it all and that is why i am a bit nervous.
a 14 or 15 year old dog, has a lot of past life experience to draw on...not all of it great but still it helps cuz they know who they are. by our standards this molly is almost a baby who has never had the opportunity to try out being different dogs...and i don't want her trying out new identities around here either, some of them might not be good.
plus...a 4 year old healthy powerhouse is much different then a 14 yr old snapping bibi who falls over when he gets mad at someone and wants to do something about it.
so the priorities are always to make them feel loved and safe...and keep everyone else around here safe too. i have to control the normal (maybe not normal/ maybe usual is a better word)..i have to control the usual personalities around here so they do not push her too far and trigger her.
it is stressful for all of us. no one is allowed to be too pissy...no one is allowed to be too excited or too happy either. 30 dogs can bring together a whole bunch of high energy and right now i want it calm and quiet while our new girl gets her solid saints feet.
with all new arrivals, there is a honeymoon stage...and that honeymoon is critical because while everything is new and unfamiliar..they look at me to see what i m expecting. once the honeymoon is over, they start making their own choices and decisions and the hope is that they stick with the program that i happen to like around here....(which is, everyone please get along together)...and not come up with their own....(like big bambi tries once in a awhile..the when carol is not looking..i am the boss.)
i know a lot of folks keep new dogs separate and slowly over time blend them in...i try really hard not to do that..i want them fully integrated together with everyone within 24-48 hours before they settle enough to think for themselves. way easier for all of us in the long run if they are letting me think for them cuz then i get to set the tone of living here for them...and i need that kind of control.
it is a bit of a guessing game...reading the new ones and hoping i am reading them close...they are stressed and it is new here and i still have to find that real dog hiding inside and convince them to just slide along with the program and everything will truly be fine and alright.
when you bring new dogs in...never let them see you sweat. be absolutely rock solid in your conviction that everything will work out for the best....dogs are so good at reading us, and if we are that absolutely convinced in the rightness of it all...they will usually put aside their personal doubts and try really hard to agree.
those are the very best dogs....but to get them there, puts a lot of responsibility not to mess them up, squarely on me.