Our two weeks at the lake ended as Barb and Kate returned home. The following morning, they drove to pick up their 3 Standard Poodles: Magic, Harper and Zoom.
This introduction to the dogs, especially after being at the house for two weeks on our own, had me a bit anxious. I knew the dogs would be excited to be home and that excitement plus another, new dog seemed a bit unpredictable. Leela had been on their scent the whole time we were at the lake. She would be new to them. And I trust them completely; probably more than I trust some humans.
We arranged that the 3 dogs would start out outside in the yard and then, I’d let Leela out to join them.
She saw them first through the window and every occasional hyena bone in her body came alive. Dogs! 3 of them! She cried and barked. “Mommy, we have to go outside, now.”
That first moment was chaotic. Everyone was meeting and greeting, sniffing and finding their rank with this new dog. Zoom was less interested, being the doggie version of Carlson, the butler, on Downtown Abbey. A very elegant man. Very composed. And less likely to head foolishly into anything. He prefers to watch with amazement at their antics, or hunt chipmunks.
We all thought Magic, the youngest and high energy dog, would be BFFs with Leela immediately. We were wrong. They loved each other and Leela’s attention immediately went to Harper, another female, and a therapy dog. They played non-stop with Magic right next to them, as involved as he could be in the play. Zoom watched and even joined in at times.
What I noticed about me was that I relaxed when the dogs were together; that I was more concerned about Leela with humans. She was right at home with the dogs; loved them. And, of course, these particular dogs are extraordinary.
Exhausted, there were dogs everywhere, sleeping off the play and bitey-face games. Then, they’d all rouse, one by one, and the games began all over again.
This brief time together made one thing clear, Leela needed time with other dogs and we began to explore our options at home immediately. We found something right away and I’ve already taken Leela in for an evaluation and to get more information. Puppy play time starts soon!
What I hope that will do is match our energy. When I’m away, she gets to play with other dogs. That means, we both come home calm and ready to be together, rather than me coming home tired from working and Leela ready to play after being in her crate/home for a few hours.
A dog really does change your life. Trying to keep your life from changing only creates tension and tension doesn’t build relationship. I hear myself saying, “Oh, so this is my life now. Okay,” more and more. I noticed her and what she wants and pay attention to that. It doesn’t mean I’m ‘less than’ in any way. It means I’m partnering with her so we have the best lives; both of us.