Rescue meet n greet

ladybugfruitJune 19, 2011

I posted earlier in the week about adding to the pack and we just got back from our meet n greet. I was so proud of Tasha, who I thought would be my trouble pup...she did wonderfully meeting Boot (the aussie mix). I was surprised and disappointed that our old lady Sadie did not do so well. She approached Boot in prey mode, which we promptly backed off and I corrected her. Eventually we were able to walk together without issue, but it took quite a while. Boot was very submissive with both girls and SO very laid back. I could tell immediately that he was a very well balanced dog. Things did calm down for Sadie overall and she did the butt sniff on Boot but when it came time for Boot to sniff her, she snapped at him. I am disappointed that it didn't go as well as I was hoping for, he really seems like he would be a good fit if we could get past Sadie's issues. He was a really sweet, mellow dog and even gave kisses!! ( i love that) The rescue lady is going to put me in touch with another in her group that is a behaviorist and we will see how that conversation goes. I certainly don't want to force anything, I was just hoping we could bring a boy back into the mix.

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i'm sorry it didn't go better. question...when the dogs were doing the butt sniffing, were they on leash? many times (i would even say MOST times), when strange dogs meet and they are on leash, the possibility of a not-so-good meeting is much more likely.

if the behaviorist thinks boot might still be a possibility for you, you might ask her about having the dogs meet somewhere where you can introduce them off leash. if you can find an area (park? unused baseball diamond behind the school?) where you can do this sort of introduction, it might work better.

for obvious reasons, this takes more effort and more diligence but it CAN be done. depending on the initial reaction of the dogs, a few off leash play dates might be more conducive to sadie accepting boot as part of the pack. if she sees tasha having fun with him, she might just decide he isn't so bad after all.

i wish you luck! of course, if sadie just won't come around, so be it. sometimes a dog will meet another dog and an instant dislike will happen. (i was that way with a sister-in-law LOL)...just because she doesn't care for boot doesn't mean there isn't another dog out there that could work for you. i do believe you are wise to consider ONLY a male. another female isn't likely to work, period!

    Bookmark   June 20, 2011 at 8:01AM
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Question. How old is Sadie and does she suffer from any ailments including pain. If so, get the vet toget her on a St josephs for children aspirin routine, it sounds like she is guarding so the new dog does not know her physical weaknesses. Good luck, hope it all comes out ok. I suspect it will

    Bookmark   June 20, 2011 at 12:20PM
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Thanks for the input Nina and mazer! yes, the greetings were done on leash, and actually that is an issue that I am currently working on with both girls on walk. They both get over excited and bark etc when they see another dog on leash walking anywhere near us. Kinda funny because we had twice to work on that issue this morning. I am treating heavily every time we see another dog on leash (esp on of our neighbors dogs, a female lab that is oh so sweet and laid back) and while I have not extinguished the behavior yet, I think we are making progress. I am still waiting to hear from the behaviorist, but that may take a few days since they are all volunteers. The lady that we met with yesterday said there were not alot of apps out on boot (which I can't fathom cause he's a great lil guy) and that we might try again, which we are for. The big obstacle with that is that boot is being fostered about an hour and a half away. Definitely either way, yes, only a boy will work with my pack.
mazer, Sadie is a 12 year old Ridgeback/greyhound mix (thus the uber strong prey drive) and she does have arthritis. She also has some liver issues, elevated ALK. We very recently ruled out CD. I may talk to the vet about pain meds, but she doesn't show any outward signs of pain. She does pant sometimes at odd times (one of the reasons CD was suspect in addition to some muscle weakness). I also recently put her on Sam-E in addition to milk thistle and she has perked up some since then. Not sure why it didn't dawn on me that she could be guarding because of her weakened physical issues..thanks for pointing that out.
I know that either way things will work out they way they need to and I am still cautiously hopeful. I brought a towel home that I rubbed all over boot for the girls to sniff (thanks for that suggestion nina). Tasha shows interest, Sadie, not so much. thanks again ya'll for input!
I value your opinions. :)

    Bookmark   June 20, 2011 at 2:48PM
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Keep trying, sounds like you're on the right track.

My old dog had definite leash issues with other dogs ... but no problems when not on a leash ... go figure.

    Bookmark   June 21, 2011 at 12:56PM
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dogs are instinctively good at hiding pain. pain = weakness and dogs know if they show weakness, there's a possibility of compromised survival. of course, that goes waaaaay back, obviously just because your girl is in pain does not mean she will be attacked by predators but that instinct is so ingrained, it's just always there. do you have her on any joint supplements? a good supplement might help a lot with her pain. my senior dane takes a cocktail of flexicose/metacam/tramadol every day and it goes a long way at keeping her pain at bay.

on leash meetings work somewhat like on leash encounters second dog on leash. both dogs are being held back by their handlers. this leads to frustration. add to it the handler's tenseness that transfers right on down the leash to the dog's brain and you have TWO dogs who are thinking "this must be a bad thing, must protect myself, must protect my person, i will lunge and growl because that's ALL i can do." off leash, under close supervision and under the proper circumstances, it's more like this...2 dogs meet, sniff around each other..."yes, you are a dog and i am a dog and i wonder if i play bow, what will you do, i think i'll try, OH! you wanna play?? ok! let's run as fast as we can and see who wears out quicker. wow! pant pant pant, that was fun! let's do it again!"

it can work and very often, does! :)

    Bookmark   June 21, 2011 at 6:07PM
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Thanks for the always sage advice Nina! :) yes, sadie is on petco joint support III, it's actually the most comprehensive joint supp I have found for dogs and she has been on it for at least 3 years now 2x a day. She also takes fish oil and recently we added sam-e for her liver, but it is also a joint support. Sadie has perked up a bit since being on the same-e too, so I think it is helping in more ways than one.
I am still waiting to hear back from the rescue regarding the behaviorist input and at this point, after discussing with the hubby, we are going to see if they contact us. Been praying about it and certainly want to do this in the right time with the right dog! In addition to that, I have kinda been in denial, but that got blown out of the water this week...I have developed rheumatoid arthritis and am experiencing my first "flare" right now. Fingers, wrists,elbows and ankles. I know it can be worse, but I am a massage therapist and it's been kind of rough. So of course now I am wondering if we should wait or proceed. Haha, they aren't kidding when they say you start to fall apart when you turn 40...just a few months ago. It will all work itself out the way it needs to. In the meantime, I am plugging ahead and working with the girls on the leash manners any chance we get!

    Bookmark   June 22, 2011 at 7:45PM
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sounds like you have things under control with sadie. if you notice more soreness, talk to your vet about adding a low dose of tramadol every day. virtually no side effects and really does help.

i'm so sorry for your diagnosis. i'm a victim of osteoarthritis and have two titanium hips to prove it! i know just what you mean about turning 40 and that was 20 years ago for me so i almost have one foot in the grave! LOL

hang in there, even if it ends up that boot isn't the right match, there is surely another pup out there that will be the perfect fit for you and your pack. :)

    Bookmark   June 22, 2011 at 8:52PM
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