Kindness is essential in our daily lives.
I will share weekly a new post with a message of how powerful kindness really can be.

Wednesday, July 4, 2012


 Granddogs actually are an extended part of our family of grandchildren - they automatically come with the territory. As an animal lover myself I'm very accepting of visits from the granddogs as long as they do their business outdoors, come without fleas, and can tolerate cats. It would be really, really great if they loved chickens!

Of course these newly adopted granddogs, adopted by families with children, are children friendly and very social whereas my own two pet dogs, raised by us two older adults, have had less training in socializing making it harder for them to adjust to the newbie granddogs.

Libby Lu is a sweet, timid, friendly and adorable 20 + pound Puggle who I was positive would get along with either dog. Ginger, on the other hand (our Alpha dog) is an adorable, sweet, friendly, not at all timid 15 pound Jug who struggles with developing friendships with other dogs so I knew we had to come up with a socialization plan for her.

As it began, little Ginger initially had to wear a muzzle when introduced to our larger granddog, Bailey, who was 6 months at the time of her adoption and, being a hound dog, quite tall. (Bailey has bounds of energy so it was very difficult to get her to sit still long enough to get good photos of her.) Ginger continued to growl and attack Bailey through her muzzle during their first few visits together.

Finally I decided to just turn them loose in the fenced area of our yard and let them establish the pecking order....and it pretty much worked. Bailey is a gentle soul and she very much wanted to be playmates but Ginger is domineering and she let Bailey know she was in charge. Eventually Ginger was able to tolerate Bailey through this process. They took turns sniffing on each other and then both went about their own business. I'll continue to keep an eye on Ginger during her future visits with Bailey but I'm pretty sure she'll be accepting of her soon.

I must add that Bailey was a rescue hound from Tennessee who was relocated to Syracuse with her mom and dad in hopes of finding them a good home. At this time Bailey is an only pet and she gets tons of love and attention from every family member including her three siblings Josh, Ben and Sammy. Her endless amount of energy gets challenged continuously by these busy family members. Bottom line - she got a GREAT home!

When Ginger was newly adopted by us it was necessary to use a squirt gun to convince her that she needed to be friends with our adult cat Tuxedo (and it worked great!) and if I have to I'll whip that sucker out for another behavior lesson. The future of this relation between Bailey and Ginger looks good!

Charlie, because he was only 6-8 weeks old at his time of his adoption, was much easier to friend with Ginger and Libby Lu. Neither dog was too intimidated by a wobbly, wet-behind-the ear, puppy-breath mound of playfulness. Each sniffed Charlie up and down but little Charlie was too young to know what was happening and/or to reciprocate. Charlie, a mix of Labrador and mastiff, will eventually grow into a large dog but by that time my two dogs will have already become friends with him.

Unfortunately for Charlie, he became enchanted with the hens and while running loose outside the fenced-in doggy yard he was attacked by one of them. Don't worry, there were no injuries - she was just letting him know the pecking order.

After the incident they both went off in different directions unscathed. Hopefully Charlie will remember this episode and be fearful of the chicks. Pecking order established? We'll have to wait and see. As he grows older Charlie will be kept confined with the other dogs behind the fence for their safety as well as the safety of the chicks.

Although Charlie at this time is not completely trained to do his business outdoors he's working hard at it. (Aw, come on Charlie, you pee like a girl.)

Charlie has Charm, a senior male Labrador, at home with him for friendship and mentoring as well as a crazy black cat by the name of Nanook to terrorize. He also lives with Corky, the family Cockatiel, but I can't imagine what kind of a relationship will develop between the two of them.

Charlie's loving family includes siblings Katie, Caleb, Sarah and Bella none of which can keep their hands off him - he's so irresistible. No doubt he'll be a 100 + pound lap dog!!!