Even at 8 1/2 weeks old, this sweet German Shepherd puppy seemed to meld seamlessly into our arms as we drove the 2 1/2 hours home, leaving her 3 siblings and kennel mates behind. She slept most of the way home, obviously feeling quite safe and content. We are amazed at how completely she became part of the family and how much she trusts and wants to be with us.
How did the Short Dog team respond? Exactly as we had predicted. Dixie, arthritic and 10 1/2 years old, does not want an exuberant puppy bouncing off of her. Freki's attempts at bumbling friendship have been met with a curled lip and one emphatic 'no'. Freki backed around the corner, sulked for a moment and went off to find better things to do. Dixie is ok with that.
Ben, once assured he is still mom's best boy, was eager to play. However, he tops out at 35 solid pounds of spring-loaded muscle. Not an ideal playmate for an awkward baby who just learned to navigate the back porch steps yesterday. They did have a bout of tug-of-war this morning, but he pretty much dragged her across the room.
Yes, it is a bit chaotic right now. We did, after all, introduce a new baby into the family Saturday, and the older 'siblings' were quite happy with the status quo on Friday. We used to have week end morning sleep-ins; last night we were up 4 times to take Freki out to potty and morning started at 6am. We used to have 2 dogs that cleaned out their bowls in 30 seconds flat. We now also have one who has to eat (and drink) with one foot in the bowl (and adds to the kitchen floor clean-up), and manages to finish in, oh, 10 minutes or so.
But we also have sweet puppy kisses, and a puppy who goes absolutely every step with us and sits patiently by our feet as we go about our daily chores. She is a wise dog wrapped in a puppy package, and is too cute for words.
What are our plans for her? Obedience work with an emphasis on tracking, and, hopefully, work as a search and rescue dog. During the next several weeks, she will be out in public every possible moment, learning about the world she is entering. 'Socialization' is the big word for raising a puppy who has confidence in every situation. Though her nature is to assess things before diving in, we want her to respond with thoughtful intelligence, not fear.
So, keep a watch for Freki and her adventures. They should be fun!