When it became clear that we were going to adopt Duke, I became fully prepared for having a period of time where Duke would need to adjust to his new humans, baby sister and his new home. I wasn't sure exactly what that would entail, or what he would require, but I knew that we would do whatever we needed to do to make him feel just how welcome he was to our family. What I wasn't anticipating was how short that time period would be, or how well I would handle the blending of both dogs.
The first 24-48 hours that Duke was with us, he was very reluctant to play with my bouncing, energetic and somewhat rude Lucy. Not being entirely sure how to handle this situation, I sought the advice of those who had been there and done this before. The advice that I got was golden, and I implemented the advice exactly as I was instructed to do; I just wanted everyone to get along! (I also learned a couple of things, remind me to do a post about "rude" dogs!)
Our challenges went something like this: Lucy would jump all over Duke, wiggle her bottom and beg him to play with her. Duke was rather unsure of us and his surroundings and he would let out several little growls telling Lucy to "back off". Lucy didn't take him very seriously, and things would escalate. There was no damage done because although Duke did not want to play with Lucy, he had no intention of hurting her. His words could get pretty harsh though, and Lucy wasn't exactly muttering sweet nothings in Dukes ears either. The whole thing sounded 10 times worse that what it actually was. All I knew was that it made me a wreck and was no good for the ultimate goal of having peace and harmony between my two boxers.
I became very alert to Duke's signals, and when he would look pleadingly at me and let out that little growl, I would pull Lucy away from him and make her sit. If she would return to Duke and refuse to leave him alone, I would separate the two dogs giving Lucy a chance to cool off and give Duke a bit of a break.
Of course, I was also paying close attention to Lucy's signals. When she would start bouncing all over the place and making those silly little "I'm feeling wild!" sounds, I did my best to distract her, or remove her from the situation.
I wondered how long this would go on, if Lucy would eventually get it and if Duke would eventually show us his silly boxer side and start playing with Lucy.
I got the answer to my question on Monday night. Lucy grabbed her jolly ball and started running around Duke with the ball. For the first couple of minutes, Duke ignored my silly little Lucy, but that only lasted a short time. Before I even knew what was going on, I had not one, but two boxers ripping around the house engaged in wild and delightful boxer play! I couldn't have been happier, and I'm pretty sure that Lucy shared my sentiments! It's been that way ever since, Lucy and Duke constantly at play!
I missed out on getting pictures of Lucy and Duke engaging in their first romp because I left my camera at work. But, you can be sure that I won't be forgetting my camera again any time soon because you just never know whats going to happen in my house with 2 boxers running around!