Michelle and I are officially a two dog family! Last Saturday, we drove to Siler City, NC to look at a litter of Great Dane, mix puppies. The whole drive we kept asking ourselves, “Are we really doing this?” We have been talking about getting a new puppy for so long (we had even contacted a French Bulldog breeder at one point!) that actually driving to look at a litter of pups didn’t feel real. The surrealness didn’t disappear on the return trip home as all of our dreams about becoming a two dog family became a reality. Michelle and I gained a new friend, Athena a new brother, and all three of us a serious disturbance to our sense of ‘normal.’
Say hello to Mowgli!
Mowgli is now 8-weeks old and that means he is in the prime of his terrorizing years as he explores the world through his chompers, discovers that carpet is not his personal bathroom, and sleeps during the day, so he can keep us up all night. I say terrorizing, but the truth is after only one week he is adapting to his new surroundings very quickly. Mowgli has already figured out that if he needs to poop, he should run to the door and go outside. However, that same distinction between the carpet and grass has yet to be made when he needs to pee. Or when it is cold outside. If it is too cold, Mowgli will go to the door, then immediately turns tail and books it back to the living room to avoid the cold outside. I can’t really blame him on that one.
Everything I have heard and read about Great Dane’s is that they are relationship oriented dogs (meaning like retrievers they respond well to interactions and praises from people). This is already evident in Mowgli. When Athena was a young pup (she is now 4-years old), she would steal a sock for chewing and no amount of telling her ‘No!’ would stop her from continuing to tear apart your sock. Mowgli, on the other hand, only needs a strong ‘No’ and stern to look to drop your sock (of course five minutes later he is back to destroying your favorite pair of shoes, but that’s what puppies do).
So, how is Athena adapting to our latest addition? Well, she would tell you the jury is still undecided about him. When we went to pick Mowgli up, Athena gave him a quick sniff, tail wag, and then proceeded to say hello to every person she saw in the Siler City WalMart parking lot. Athena has never been a big fan of puppies and beyond seeing Mowgli as a new playmate, she finds him extraordinarily annoying at all other times of the day.
But, I think the real problem Athena is having with Mowgli is that he has thrown off her sense of ‘place’ in the world. She has been the only dog in our home for the past four years and is accustomed to receiving our full, (mostly) undivided attention when she wants it and being able to enjoy independence on her chair. Now, Athena is having to learn how to share us and her toys with Mowgli, and adjusting to a new shadow that follows her everywhere.
But, given enough time and as Mowgli outgrows his annoying puppy tendencies Athena will start to change her mind. And there’s nothing better than family snuggles and movies to help change her mind. My favorite place.