A letter from Georgia’s new daddy

I think I just had one of the best weekends ever.  I really cannot believe what a great dog she is, or that she hasn’t been with us for more than 48 hours, it feels like she’s always been here somehow.  We’re sticking to our plan of keeping the lower floor divided, with the cats having the back half and basement, and G in the front half and upstairs.  The cats stare at her through the glass a lot, but they’re not getting puffy anymore and are comfortable enough to go off and do other things or curl up and go to sleep by the door.  Most of the time it seems like Georgia doesn’t even seem to know they’re there. 

Saturday went just as I imagined it, she was glued to my hip the whole day and wouldn’t let me out of her sight.  We went on a few walks and explored the neighborhood, which I haven’t gotten to do at all until now.  I’m trying to work out a route with plenty of grass on the same side of the street to get her used to sticking to one side or the other.  When she pulls I stop and wait for her to come back to me before continuing, and I think she’s getting the hang of it.  She’s met a bunch of the neighbors and one neighbor dog when we were out on a walk, and she’s a huge hit with everyone.  No surprise there.  She put herself to bed around 10ish, and very grudgingly left her cozy spot to come upstairs with us so we could let the cats check out her space for the night.  

Sunday morning started early, maybe too early for little G.  We went outside to do her business and I thought we’d go around the block.  We got about half way and she planted herself and gave me a “Hells nah” look.  I’m trying to avoid tugging on the leash, and I didn’t have any treats (rookie mistake I guess), so she won that round.  We spent a lot of the day working on “sit” and “stay”, which she seems to be picking up pretty quickly, and teaching her which couch can be hers.  She seemed to have that down, but did her best to convince me she had forgotten this morning when she tried to climb up next to me.  A quick “no” was all it took to send her back to her own couch.  We had zero problems getting her to eat, she’s practically the president of the clean bowl club.

I put the cats’ favorite stuff down in the basement yesterday and kept them there for a bit so G could explore their half of the house, which she was very thorough about.  At about 1 or 2 she decided it was ok if I left her direct field of view, which freed me up to do some chores around the house.  She was still following me up and down the stairs, and if she heard me go out the door and come back in she popped by to check on me, but she seems to be getting more and more comfortable with doing her own thing.  We’re also working on sitting and waiting before going in and out of doors, and she’s such a champ with that.  I am in constant awe of how good she is.  We had a few friends over last night, all of them dog owners, and they were equally impressed and charmed by her.  Someone actually said “I’m jealous”.

She’s already such a great companion, and getting better every minute.  We owe much of that to the loving home you and Ben gave her.  To hear that she lost 9 lbs in just a few months and wouldn’t eat a few weeks ago speaks volumes to how important her time as a foster was.  I really believe she is the perfect dog for us, and we would never have known if it weren’t for you, and “thank you” just doesn’t seem to say it all.  Just know that we are tremendously grateful for the time you’ve taken to get to know us, and your patience in helping us find our dream dog.

Good luck with the move, and we’ll certainly be in touch!

-R

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20 responses

  1. What a fantastic report on little Georgia!! Sounds like it’s a win/win situation for all involved. That brings a big smile to my face (and tears to my eyes).

  2. I’ve done quite a few dog-cat introductions and have one suggestion that has been very effective for me. After we’ve gotten through the “sniffing” phase where everyone gets to smell all the new smells on Mommy, I work on introductions. In order to give the cats a refuge but still allow them to interact with the new dog, I use a plastic baby gate and put it in the doorway with about a 6-inch space at the bottom. This way the cats can still get under it in a hurry if they feel threatened, but they can feel safe about coming out or even just about peeping through the bottom. I’ve watched countless introductions this way – a dog face pushed through the opening with a cat sitting just out of reach, each engaged in quiet calm sniffing and exploring. This technique also works to keep curious dogs out of a litterbox but still allows cats free and easy access. Note also that this does not work with cat-aggressive dogs. It can be used with some cat-curious dogs but still requires much vigilance. It works great for cat-tolerant dogs.

  3. I love love love getting letters like this from families who have adopted my fosters. The best ones are those that come announced, years later. An old couple actually wrote me a hand written letter the other day, talking about a dog they adopted from me, and I was so flattered they had gone to the effort – and so happy to hear about the dog!

  4. Pingback: Thursday Thinking by YoTrip for November 3, 2011- My DADDY/ODE TO CLAY (Vol.11, Iss.1) « YoTrip-Words and Thoughts

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