The new dogs, Shaggy and Little Brother are fitting in pretty well with the pack as a whole. Shaggy, judging by the wear on his teeth, is somewhere around 5 according to the vet, and Little Brother is going on a year by my best estimate.
Yes, I got Shaggy into the vet, but, as far as Bro is concerned, the car is a dog eating monster and it isn’t going to get him if he can help it. We’ll work on that. Giving him treats while I’m sitting in the car has gotten him willing to put his front feet in, now if we can get his back end in too I’ll be set.
Shaggy’s vet visit went well. I’ve had dogs who distrusted the vet and one outlier who considered him to be the Anti-Christ so I was hoping for the best but prepared for a battle. (Star now has a female vet who she is very fond of, the antipathy towards my usual vet was part of her distrust of men)
I took Shaggy’s guide dog, Syndr, with us and seeing her happily greet the vet, giving kisses and wiggles in exchange for pets and treats, went a long way towards convincing Shaggy this new person could be trusted. Besides my vet gives out freeze dried liver, and a couple of pieces of that was well worth the 3 needles Shaggy had to endure as far as he was concerned. Unlike Syndr, he didn’t try crawling in Doc’s lap but I will bet good money that at the next vet visit Shaggy will dance around like his sister hoping to get more treats. He got his shots and a more or less clean bill of health, two broken teeth a little underweight, but his heart and lungs are fine. It is always easier on everyone when the dogs don’t view the vet as an enemy, so far so good.
Shaggy has also been going to the Bark Park, an off leash park where he can help his sister herd the other dogs. After 3 trips Shaggy has decided that no one at the park is going to hurt him either. Syndr is helping him socialize with humans here too. After watching her get petted he will cautiously sidle up in the hopes that he will be loved. So far, he has met a dozen or so humans who he let pet him, and there are 4 besides me who he will solicit affection from.
At the Bark Park I met a couple from Hays, KS who had an English Shepherd. They agreed with me that Shaggy had some ESD in him, and even argued he might be a pure ESD. With the ears he has, I think he’s half Sheltie, but for some reason having another ESD makes me feel a little better about Urse. It’s not that I replaced her so much as she has a successor. Shaggy certainly acts like a herding breed, he, Syndr and the border collie spent a happy, exhausting hour trying to herd a red dobie. All 4 dogs seemed to enjoy the game, even the dobie who had been designated the sheep. He was long legged and agile and frequently managed to escape by jumping over the other dogs and tearing off on a new course.
After the park we went to a friends apt, where Syndr wrassled their beagle and Shaggy fell asleep under the table with his head on my friend’s foot. For a dog who it took two weeks before he would let me lay a hand on him he is coming along very quickly. Someday he may get to the point that, like Syndr, I have to restrain him from greeting his human friends to exuberantly, but that is probably a while off. As for now, he has decided he likes car rides, vet visits, the dog park and that heaven is the drive-thru window at Hardee’s
He’s a good boy. I’m glad we found each other.