Zoomie is NOT a morning dog. Every day I get up – sometimes as early as 4am but always before 6am – and get my laptop out and join him on the couch for several hours before he finally decides he wants to get up and go out to the yard to do his business. The funny part is sometimes he gets up, looks at me, looks at the world around like, I need to pee…but how bad? And then he’ll just reposition and go back to sleep. Other times he’ll just quietly growl at me like, Why must you come into my space with that bright box before the sun has even come up?
I haven’t updated you all on him recently. You know, we are often worried about people coming into our home/yard because he is soooo fiercly protective. He barks at anyone near or unexpected and his bark is terrifying. We’ve learned that if you just come in he may bark a bit, but he eventually chills out. It’s just a matter of making sure the visitor understands that and sometimes we keep him on his gentle lead for a bit just in case.
He still sometimes chases the dogs on either side of the fence and ends up bloodying his feet and sometimes his face as he tries to attack the fence between. We have a on-demand shock collar that has a warning beep and most of the times that warning beep is enough to get him back inside but – sometimes we can’t find the remote – or he’s not wearing the collar and those days the poor guy will just destroy his body chasing the neighbor’s dogs.
(Reminder, my yard has a lot of rocks – natural and synthetic – as terraces which is why he bloodies up his feet so bad. It’s not soft dirt he’s running on.)
All of this is to explain why every time my Mom was in the hospital, I just stayed at her place instead of bringing her dog here. He’s an old/small Daschund named Roscoe and the first time we introduced the dogs we kept them on leashes and they were not happy to be near each other. It made me very nervous so I just kept staying at Mom’s. Once when she was in the hospital we boarded our dog so we could keep hers here. We kept trying to introduce them but I hated the whole process and so to me – the easier option was me just staying at her place.
The last time, though, Donnie insisted. He has a lot more patience in those situations which is what the dogs need. Calm leadership. So I kinda just let him deal with it and eventually, we got them off leash together and now? They see each other every M, W, F while Mom is at dialysis! We decided to keep bringing Rosoe over for those four hours because it keeps him from being alone and it keeps our dogs aquainted with each other.
Turns out? Roscoe is the alpha. My scary pit mix? COWERS IN FEAR. I mean, not quite, but he definitely is the annoying little brother who just wants to play and the older brother snaps at him once and he runs away. It’s hilarious.
They’re not to the point of calmly cuddling or anything, but we don’t worry about them together anymore. Zoomie definitely annoys the crap out of Roscoe and Roscoe definitely lets him know he thinks he’s annoying, but they are very much used to each other now and understand that they’re part of the same pack.
It has eased our mind greatly because we really think Zoomie could use another dog to play with but we weren’t sure how he would take that since he’s so protective. It turns out, as long as the dog is part of his pack he’s fine, he just doesn’t like the ones outside his turf. We’re not ready to get another dog yet or anything, but the whole thing has been a reassuring experience. Especially because bringing Roscoe over here makes my life SO MUCH EASIER. I used to have to stay at Mom’s when she was at dialysis because Roscoe would cry if he was home alone too long and her landlord called to complain on behalf of her neighbors once. Now? I just bring him to our house! MUCH EASIER.