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Author Topic: Getting a Second!?!?!?  (Read 11004 times)
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Debbra
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« on: July 13, 2014, 01:10:41 AM »

So, as some of you know from Facebook I have become somewhat fixated of late on getting a second fluffer and have been trolling Petfinder.com for possible matches.  I found Oscar about a month ago but then his ad disappeared and I thought he'd been adopted but then earlier this week he came back!!  Let's see if I can post the pic/a link:



https://www.petfinder.com/petdetail/29663423/

I emailed the rescue about the chance to have Max and Oscar meet.  Max does not immediately bond with other dogs and is not a big one to play.  Usually its a success if he and another dog sniff and then ignore each other  Rolled Eyes   The recent attendees to the Bichon Bash can attest that Max didn't have any issues with the others being here he didn't really engage with them and other than a blitz with Chico didn't play at all.   Dogs that are too hyper or are insistent on play get a growl or too and he will snap if they don't take the hint.  So, I could only consider bringing another dog into the house if Max's initial reaction was at least tolerance or maybe that should be at best tolerance as I didn't expect anything better.    I filled out the application for the rescue just so they'd have an idea of who they were dealing with.  I spoke to the volunteer and she agreed to a meeting.  Actually I think she agreed to us actually adopting Oscar and taking him from the meeting if we wanted but she was on her cell phone and breaking up so I didn't question that as it was never my intent to move that quickly.  Jim had some hesitation about getting a second so I knew there would have to be discussion after we met Oscar.

When I talked to the foster mother to arrange the meeting directly we discussed the best way to introduce, neutral ground, etc.  She indicated to me that Oscar was excitable and would be on us and Max when we came in the door  Oh My that did not sound like the "sweet and gentle" pup mentioned in the ad but it was a little late to back out.  I explained what Max's reaction might be and we went ahead.  Oscar was front and centre when we arrived but not to a level that I would describe as "excitable".  He did go right to Max and there was a growl but nothing serious.  We then headed outside for the pups to interact and for us to learn more about Oscar.

We learned that Oscar's human was an older woman who had some health issues.  He was matted when he came to rescue and had to be shaved down.  He's been with the foster family for 5 weeks and they think he's wonderful.  Really quite surprising that he's lasted that long in rescue.  Not sure if the he's overweight - 23 lbs - or what.  Not coming from a puppy mill situation he doesn't have the issues that go along with that type of rescue so you think he'd get snapped up.   confused  Anyway, he hasn't had a lot of training in terms of commands but is generally well behaved.  He has been crated while in his foster home and has handled that well.  He walks well on leash.  They've been walking regularly and changed his food so he's down to 20 lbs.  In terms of height and length he's pretty much the same size as Max.  His tail is docked.  His ears have some apricot.

Now, on to the good part he and Max were wonderful together!!!!!  It exceeded by wildest expectations.  Oscar followed Max like a shadow but Max didn't growl at him once.  Better yet, they played!  They raced around the yard.  Max chased Oscar and Oscar even got to chase Max (usually Max only likes to be the chasor not the chasee).  Max engaged with Oscar.  It was amazing.  We were probably out there for 45 minutes and they never tired of each other although they got tired out.  Max even drank out of a water bowl at the same time as Oscar after Jim specifically told the foster mother that he wouldn't do that.   Laughing   The only time we got a little growl from Max was when he was on my lap and Oscar thought he needed to get up too.  No sharing of Mom!!  no  Oscar backed off immediately and Max was then fine.  When Oscar got up on Jim's lap and then leaned over to Max that was okay. 

I'm sure this doesn't mean that there would not be bumps in the road but I could not believe how well things went.   I even got Jim to admit Oscar was a "nice dog" on the way home.  Today we discussed some logistics and routine if Oscar came to live with us.  Before Jim left for work he acknowledged that this is a foregone conclusion although I think he has some reservations still. 

I've emailed the rescue volunteer to check on Oscar's medical records and see if there are any further steps we need to go through before saying 'YES!!!!!'

My tentative plan would be to try to have a playdate here on Tuesday when Jim and I are off work and then to bring Oscar home on Wednesday night.  Either Jim or I will be home for the next six days after that so would be able to supervise Oscar (and Max) as he settles in.  Oscar has been crated at night so our thought is to continue that while Max still sleeps in our room.  Hoping this helps Max not feel displaced and gives him a break from Oscar as well.  Don't know that this will continue long term but at least initially it will go.  His crate at the foster home is on the first floor (not in their bedroom) so it is what he is used to.  Should give him some comfort as well.

Anyone with experience in this regard please feel free to share thoughts/comments/recommendations both the good and the bad including if the above sounds like a good or bad plan.

I'll let you all know what I hear from the rescue.  Hopefully I'll have a response in the morning. 
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Alison
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« Reply #1 on: July 13, 2014, 04:55:22 AM »

That's so exciting.I can't wait to hear how the play date goes.He looks like such a cute
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Debbra
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« Reply #2 on: July 13, 2014, 09:43:24 AM »

Thanks Allison. I'm excited and terrified at the same time. Got the thumbs up from the rescue thus morning.
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Lin
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« Reply #3 on: July 13, 2014, 10:08:53 AM »

 goodjob You have really thought this through and are taking all the right steps to make this relationship a success. I'm happy to hear that Max and Oscar were able to play, excellent sign!  clapping
As you said, there probably will be some bumps in the road ahead but I'm sure you and Jim have thought about this deeply enough to deal with them successfully should they arise.
Good luck with your next play date, I'll be watching for a follow up.  original
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Thank you Alison!
darwinsmom (Chris)
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« Reply #4 on: July 13, 2014, 11:07:40 AM »

That sounds promising! I know I would hesitate with Darwin, too, although he generally does better with new dogs than new people. But it sounds like their personalities match pretty well! Congratulations!!
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Freedom (Sandie)
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« Reply #5 on: July 13, 2014, 11:25:29 AM »

Sounds like a great plan!  So excited for you!

You should do this the time you bring Oscar home (you may want to do this at the play date also, can't hurt.)  Maker sure both of you have a baggie with treats in pocket and ready.

 After the dogs have been together outside for some time and a bit tired, one of you takes Oscar in the house, the other stays out with Max.  Oscar should be off leash. This allows Oscar to see the house, get the lay out, see where the water bowl is (make sure you show him).  On the trip where you bring him home to stay, if you know where his crate is going, one of you should go in before hand and get that set up, while the other is outside with both dogs.  So on his 'tour,' Oscar can see his crate as well.  You may want to take Max is separately to see the crate and then have him back outside.

This allows Oscar to learn the house without any interference from Max.  It is helpful to the newbie to know the set up on his own terms.  Then take Oscar back outside again and when ready, all of you go in.  Dogs should be loose not on leash at this point. Then humans sit down and let the dogs adjust to having each other inside.  Given that Max did not want Oscar in your lap, I suggest you sit in the middle of a sofa (so a dog can be on either side, if they want to) and hubby be in a chair (so a dog can go to a lap and not be crowded close to the other dog, initially).  Try to give them some space, that's what I'm trying to say.

You can expect Max to have a surprise as Oscar goes in the house.  He may just do a second look (hey, he is coming in too?!) or he may give a growl.  One of mine used to almost moan ("oh no, Mom is bringing another one to stay!") lol. 

The growls are fine, more of a warning, a "hey, get out of my face!" so while you need to pay attention, Oscar is respecting those and backing off, which is perfect dog behavior!

You can expect Max to show surprise again at bedtime, "oh he is staying the night?!" 

A "new to the family" dog will be on best behavior for about 3 weeks. Then you will start to see his 'real' personality.  This is when you are more likely to see the 2 of them sorting out their hierarchy.  So don't be surprised if after a few weeks of calm you have a few upsets.  That normally lasts about 2 weeks and things settle after that.

It's great that you just had the backyard bash, as Max is now used to having another dog in his yard so that should be fine.

Oh, and if possible, BOTH of you should have cameras, to capture all the fun!!

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Susan J
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« Reply #6 on: July 13, 2014, 12:31:28 PM »

I find this such an interesting thread and am looking forward to hearing more.  Sandie gives such good advice and I hope that it all works out perfectly and that Oscar and Max become best buddies.   thumbsup
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Thanks Del
Debbra
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« Reply #7 on: July 13, 2014, 04:17:00 PM »

Thanks everyone for the well wishes and Sandie for the great advice - will definitely follow. The heads up re good behavior early in is great too. Apparently the rescue and/or petfinder are quick as Oscars profile is gone. Glad I posted the pic above separately.

Haven't connected with the foster mom yet about the logistics of pick up but hoping our schedule works.

We have so much "stuff" for Max the only purchase u think I want to make is a bed for Oscar.
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lorraine (Lorraine)
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« Reply #8 on: July 14, 2014, 01:03:34 AM »

Everything is looking good and I am pleased that Sandie mentioned about sometimes the honeymoon period ends about 2 -3 weeks and reality sets in. You are making such a good job in all your research, gosh your heart will have sung when the two played together so well!   fluff  fluff
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pam
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« Reply #9 on: July 14, 2014, 09:44:54 AM »

You have had some super advise and seem to have really thought this through.  I can honestly say 2 is no more trouble than 1.  (Tongue in cheek I can add 3 is perfectly manageable!)  I have always had a crate in the room when we have introduced a new dog as a safe place for the newbie but nothing else to add really.
Best wishes
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Carol
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« Reply #10 on: July 15, 2014, 01:02:23 PM »

cheerleader I'm so happy to read that this is all coming together for you and Max, Debbra!!
It will seem at times that perhaps Max is not thrilled with his new brother, but trust me, the bond will form and they will be absolute chums before you know it!!
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