Alma’s First Week
November 6, 2011 9 Comments
Alma has now officially been part of our household for a full week!
When the Husband and I decided to adopt a young adult dog instead of getting a puppy from a breeder, we knew there would be lots of benefits and drawbacks.
For the benefits, well, we’d get to skip all of the ‘typical’ puppy frustrations: middle of the night bathroom breaks, house training, nipping, chewing, and what I like to call general “Puppy A.D.D.” when training starts out. We might miss out on the short – but very cute – puppy phase, but we also forego the aforementioned. And it’s not like Moses was a terribly difficult puppy, but it’s near impossible to guarantee a Moses 2.0 no matter where we’d get a puppy.
On the other hand, adopting an adult dog has its risks. You’ve missed some of the formative years of the dog’s life, and by the time they are around two years old, the dog’s habits, manners, and temperament can be well-established. This is really both good and bad, because while you know what to expect, you may also have some challenges ahead.
This was a reality we accepted and prepared ourselves for.
I mean, I’ve met lots of amazing, friendly, well and easily trained rescue dogs. But I’ve also heard and witnessed stories of dogs with serious histories to work though: obsessions, reactivities, even aggressions.
Discussions with Alma’s foster mom before we picked her up hinted at a bit of shyness or insecurity around people (which would be reasonable) and food aggression (also understandable, despite whether or not it’s acceptable).
So, given Alma’s history of neglect and unwant, we weren’t quite sure to expect. How would she interact with us? How would she and Moses get along? And the cats? How would she adjust to life inside the house? She’d never been walked before – how challenging would that be?
Well, it turns out, Alma’s transition has been near seamless!
Sure, we may have a couple of things to work through with her (which I will write about on another day), but it’s nothing we can’t overcome and she’s a fast and willing learner.
Alma and Moses are two peas in a pod. We actually could not have asked that the two of them get along any better. In fact, she seems to almost breathe new life in Moses while he’s still on the road to recovery.
She’s also very respectful of the cats and the kitten has even permitted her a couple of sniffs.
And around people?
Well, I continually find myself baffled that Alma was surrendered in the first place – she is such a sweetheart. She’s very affectionate and, like a typical Newf, wants nothing more than to hang out where we are. (Which makes thinking of her former life that much more sad and angering, really.)
In short, Alma’s first week has been great!
Sure, there are risks adding a second dog to any family – no matter where that dog comes from – but for us, it has only been a week and it has already been completely worth it.