Wednesday, February 26, 2014

Adding to the Pack - Welcoming Effie

Adding another dog to your pack can be a very delicate process. And while you mean well bringing another dog into your home, your current dog or dogs might not quite see it that way. The good news is that you are in a position to help the transition go a little more smoothly from the start.  I’ve decided to share our experience in hopes of helping anyone planning to add to their pack.

First here are the two very special dogs that made up our pack. There is our sweet senior Bear on the left. He is a 14 year old Belgian Shepherd mix we adopted at the age of 8 years old. And on the right we have our cute little girl Judique. She is a 2 1/2 year old Husky mix we adopted at the age of 6 months old.

We had a pretty good idea of what we were looking for in terms of our third dog. Having adopted Judique who was originally a stray from Iqaluit, and seeing her connection at the dog park with other Iqaluit rescues, we were looking for a similar dog. Realistically we know that our senior is in his last stage of life and so it was important for us to find a dog that would be compatible primarily for Judique. And also our senior is a very easy going dog that pretty much gets along with anyone, human or canine.

And Effie Makes Three

This past Valentine's Day was the day my husband and I decided to go to our local shelter to meet one girl we had our eye on for a few weeks that looked like a good fit for us. It wasn’t exactly as romantic as I pictured it. It had been a good two years since I’ve gone through bringing a dog home to other dogs. To say the least it was a very long and stressful day.

The dog we chose to bring home is a sweet and playful 18 month old Husky mix who we named Effie. She was presumably a stray in Iqaluit for her entire young life. In spite of her rough start, she is a very nice dog. She is very cuddly and loving. She has a natural recall which in my opinion is a gold star quality. We most definitely have to work on her leash skills as with most strays seeing as they roam free and typically never see a leash until they are rescued. Effie is young and excitable so getting out of the yard with all three dogs to go for a walk has been pretty crazy so far.

Establishing Rules

When you bring a dog into your home, you have to be flexible as your new addition can’t possibly know what’s expected of him/her. But it’s also important for you to establish rules right away. Don’t feel bad for their past, just concentrate on their future.

We carefully managed everything starting when they first met. How you introduce everyone and what you do when you bring them all home can make a big difference. And even then you can still have challenges but hopefully they will be a lot less.

I will be breaking down each of the following subjects in more detail with tips and then sharing our own personal experience.

Stay tuned for the good, the bad and the ugly!

Articles to follow:

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