first meeting: pretty successful

Sonya_smallest_1 we met the pup today, at a "neutral location" (the home of one of the rescue folks). i have to admit that the first five minutes didn’t really go as i expected… she was *super* excited to meet new people, and was really kind of jumpy and hyper. i’ve read and heard so much about how easy-going she is that i didn’t really expect the activity, but since she’s really still a puppy, i do understand.

when i bent down to meet her, she mistook my hair for a great toy, and decided to jump up and bite at it (her foster dad has, basically, a shaved head, so i think dangling hair was a new thing for her), and in addition to my hair, she also got my chin. ouch. i said "gentle" and stood back up… but i didn’t want to freak out or be weird about it so i didn’t say anything. she did this once more during the first 5-10 minutes of the visit, and i again told her "gentle" and didn’t say anything. during the rest of the visit she showed absolutley no signs of mouthiness whatsoever. i saw her bite at one of the other women’s (much longer) hair, too, so i think she just thought it was some goofy toy.

i realized later that this was a really atypical dog meeting for me. i am so used to meeting dogs at the humane society, which is very much a one-on-one scenario, where i have a chance to interact with a dog alone and "feel out" his/her temperament. in this case i saw the dog on the internet, talked to some people about her via email over the course of a couple of weeks, and then finally met her in a house in another state with my husband and three strangers present. at the time it didn’t really occur to me as being weird, but afterward i realized that it was quite strange for me, and i think the situation–along with the slightly rough start–has been messing with my mind a little.

anyway, on to happier things. we got to spend over 90 minutes with her, and also her foster dad and two of the women who work for the rescue. after a little time, the doggie settled down considerably and played with her toy or came around for petting and snuggles. she is very people-oriented and food-motivated. anytime one of us would leave the room for something, she would follow cutely behind. she got a lot of treats at random times and was happy to perform for them. at one point i got up to use the bathroom and she followed me. i took that opportunity to spend some time alone with her in the hallway, and that was nice. it felt more like my usual interactions with new dogs, and i was very comfortable with her in that setting.

she looks a little different than we thought she would (she has freckles on her face and neck, which were not apparent in the earlier pictures we had seen… and she was also a lot thinner than my husband was expecting), but she is a cutie nonetheless. she knows a few commands already and looooves to cuddle her foster dad. at one point late in the visit he sat down on the couch, and she jumped right up, curled up next to him, put her front legs and face in his lap, and closed her eyes. adorable.

the next step, if we want to keep going, is to have them bring her up to do our "home visit" and introduce her to the cats. this would be a several-hour visit and could also turn into an overnight or a brief fostering situation if we’d like. now i just have to decide how i’m feeling about things. in a case of very unfortunate timing, i ran across a couple of sites i hadn’t seen before that got me all riled up again on the topic of dog/cat relations. i know i probably just need to chill, but as i’ve said before: i’m an over-analyzer. it’s tough.

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5 comments

  1. Young dogs are usually mouthy, from what I understand. Our dog will put his mouth over our hands or arms, but he doesn’t really bite – he just plays. If he bit we’d really know it. It’s a good thing that he’s food motivated – that way he will listen to you when you have food and you can train him that way. I’ve seen neighborhood dogs and dogs at the puppy class that aren’t food motivated, and they’re so much more of a challenge – they have a harder time listening to their owners.
    She does sound like a sweet dog. Don’t get too worked up about the dog-cat thing! The cats might make some really interesting noises when meeting the dog, but they’re just protecting their turf. They do need time to adjust, so I wouldn’t get really upset if things don’t go wonderfully immediately. It’s a good thing that the dog will be there for a few hours or more.

  2. Congratulations it sounds like it went well. My cat, Veba, some time to adjust to Lalita. I think she tolerated her. When I met Lalita I brought an item of Veba’s and held Lalita in the stuffed toy. I did not bring Lalita home that day but Veba fully sniffed the toy. When I brought Lalita home I kept her in the crate for about 30 minutes and Veba came up and sniffed her out. I think it made Veba feel ‘safe’ and ‘in control’.

  3. Congratulations it sounds like it went well. My cat, Veba, some time to adjust to Lalita. I think she tolerated her. When I met Lalita I brought an item of Veba’s and held Lalita in the stuffed toy. I did not bring Lalita home that day but Veba fully sniffed the toy. When I brought Lalita home I kept her in the crate for about 30 minutes and Veba came up and sniffed her out. I think it made Veba feel ‘safe’ and ‘in control’.

  4. for the first meeting we didn’t bring anything that smelled of our kitties, but we did bring a towel to rub all over the dog. 🙂 when we got it back home, we put it down and both cats sniffed it, loved on it, and then took a nap on it. we are hoping that’s a good sign!

  5. for the first meeting we didn’t bring anything that smelled of our kitties, but we did bring a towel to rub all over the dog. 🙂 when we got it back home, we put it down and both cats sniffed it, loved on it, and then took a nap on it. we are hoping that’s a good sign!

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