Monday, November 16, 2009

The Adjustment Period

Any time you get a new dog, whether it's a puppy or an older, "used" dog (Hubby's term for rescue dogs), there's an adjustment period as everyone gets to know each other.

I've never gotten a puppy from a breeder. It would be cool to have a puppy because they are so darn cute. But puppies are essentially a blank slate. You don't really know what their temperament will be, how big they'll get, if they'll be loners or like other dogs, etc.

When you get a "used" dog that's an adult, if you get them from a rescue organization where the dog spends a period of time with a foster family, there's a lot you know about a dog before you commit. And that can be important, especially when you already have two dogs in your family.

We had a very specific reason for adding a third dog. Belle, our 2.5 year-old Brittany needed a playmate. Meg, our 10.5 year-old, just couldn't keep Belle entertained. Not that Belle was being bad, she is the best dog in the world, but we could tell she was bored.

So, after thinking about it and searching long and hard, we decided to adopt K, a 3.5 year-old female Brittany, to add to our pack.

The biggest concern when putting adult female dogs together is whether there will be bad dominance issues. The way dogs work, there is always a pecking order as to who is the top dog, who is number two, etc. It's a natural thing. Some dogs are better off in one-dog homes because they are very dominant and, if placed with a similarly dominant female, very serious fights might ensue.

K has been with us for two days now. Meg has no issues with K as long as K doesn't invade her personal space bubble. But that's not a problem because, as we had hoped, K is more interested in Belle. The two of them have been wrestling and playing and tussling, but not in a bad way. Once there were some growls and snarls, but that's because Belle was tired and K didn't get the "back off and give me a break" message.

Still, we are watching them closely.

The biggest adjustment for me is going to be K's morning thing. She's even more of a morning girl than Belle. We have quite a routine where Meg and Belle usually stay in bed, even when Hubby gets up and leaves, until about 7:15 AM.

So, this morning, when K tried to get me up at the ungodly early hour of 5:11, I told her to go back to bed. I was thinking, I'll teach her that we don't get up that early. She tried again. Again I said, "No, K. Go back to bed."

A short time later I heard running water. Not water, pee.

Yep, K taught me a lesson this morning. When she insists on getting up, she has a good reason.

I sure hope she adjusts to our morning routine soon.

All in all, things are going very well. Most of the day yesterday was spent clearing the yard of the gazillion leaves that had fallen. So I don't have any pictures to share. But I did take some this morning of K and Belle playing, which I'll post later. The two of them seemed quite happy, chasing each other around the yard, sliding to a stop in the piles of leaves, wrestling for a bit then chasing each other some more.

As they figure each other out, I am pretty sure K and Belle are going to be very good company for each other. And Meg seems quite happy to watch the two of them cavorting around like crazy dogs, while she gets to go about her business. As long as Mama and Dad give Meg plenty of love and keep the younguns from getting on her old nerves, all will be just fine.

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