Firstly let me say my seizures have been awful today and as a result I have all the symptoms of dissociating and feel physically unwell too, so forgive me if this post doesn’t read well or is jumbled!
In fact we were on a walk before, my partner had had Sasha on lead as I didn’t feel well enough, and after our off lead time I was walking back with Sasha. It’s been really foggy here, and a bloody car flashed me with full beams.
I had a seizure on / by the side of the road, and my partner had to manage both the puppies (as Toller was with us) and alert cars driving through the fog towards us to slow down.
I literally have no memory of today, I don’t remember anything. Not beginning to write this blog, not the walk, not the things we’ve done. Nothing.
Really weird feeling. Still feel completely odd now. But no seizure rage or despair, so yay 😉
Anyway, Sasha has been with us for 10 weeks now, and Tolly for 6 weeks.
Kasper is 6.5 years old, and because he had a really horrible start in life and missed out on a lot of things, he still has lots of issues.
He doesn’t intro well to dogs. He is fine meeting dogs on walks and is actually very polite. He will tell bouncy young dogs or rude dogs to bugger off, but he does so in ways that are very socially acceptable, and if a pushy dog greets him (sniffing his face, towering over him etc) he will do his best to show the other dog he means no harm.
But intro’ing dogs into the house is a whole other ball park, and he’s a real arse!
When we introduced Zoey it wasn’t so bad, because Kasper was only 2.5 years old and still very puppyish himself. After several days growling, and with a hearty dose of counter conditioning, Kasper totally fell in love with Zoey.
The Raiden and Kasper intro was doomed from the start due to Zoey, and once Rey was past the puppy stage there was no way Kasper was befriending him. Rey is an extremely over-zealous dog, add to that the fact he’s not neutered and I don’t think Kasper would ever appreciate his company.
Kasper also immensely disliked Sasha from the start, I think because of her size. At 12 weeks old she was already BIG, and by about 15 weeks old she was the same size as Kasper. She was massive, but also a bouncy puppy, and Kasper couldn’t understand that.
Because his confusion lead to him being rude and OTT with play, we didn’t introduce them a lot in the house at all, and barely walked them together, until Sasha had socialised with lots of other dogs.
Once Sasha had met and interacted with lots of other dogs, we began intro’ing her and Kasper more. She was now extremely polite, less giddy / bouncy, and respectful. Now was the time her and Kasper could begin to develop a relationship, very slowly, and mainly by ignoring each other, other than the odd sniff and a play bow or two from Sasha 🙂
With Tolly it was different yet again, as she was tiny.
Kasper welcomed Toller much more readily, but because he’s a rough greeter and player, he was too much for her tiny size. I had their greetings indoors in a small area, with Tolly on my lap. Everytime Kasper got too much I calmed him, and he learnt that self-handicapping meant the interactions continued.
Fast forward to now, and where are we at??
Kasper can now be free reign in the living room with Tolly and Sasha. Tolly needs intense monitoring, as she will pester Kasper relentlessly. As he’s a resource guarder he needs his space around smells (obviously we don’t leave toys or food out) and obviously he also doesn’t appreciate a small puppy jumping up and hanging off his face repeatedly XD
However when he’s in the right mood he plays beautifully with Toller. He lies down and self handicaps really well.
But the most improvement is with Sasha, and they can be together with no intervention necessary now. She is entirely respectful of him and never puts a foot wrong – she will ask a few times if he wants to play, understand when he says no, and let him rudely sniff her with no worries 😛
Kasper on his part seems to appreciate how polite Sasha is, and mainly leaves her alone, and even if she is walking about or playing with Tolly, he will ignore her. For a grumpy old man this is wonderful!
(ignore my face, the flash triggers seizures)
I’m really proud of how well Kasper has done.
He does have issues that mean he has to be treated very differently from other dogs, so I really am proud of his progress and how he still tries so hard to accept things and live like a ‘normal’ dog 🙂