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A New Little Girl

On one hand, it feels so very soon after losing Ty to bring a new pup home.  On the other hand, it felt so very right.

So here is the newest member of our little pack -- Tanner!

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More pics and storytelling below the cut!




She's an adorable little thing, truly, though I probably shouldn't call a Lab-terrier mix of 35-40 pounds "little." But remember Ty was a massive Lab almost two and half times her weight, and Gambit is a big-chested staffy-boxer-rotty. When she stands beside Gambit, she looks absolutely tiny, and Gambit--the dog we've always referred to as "the Little Bit"--looks HUMONGOUS.

It will be an adjustment. :)

Tanner was surrendered to the shelter by her owner of six years, a single woman who moved in with her family and their already-present five pets. They felt they couldn't take Tanner in, too. She's very sweet, very treat-motivated, and kinda-sorta knows the basics of sit/stay/down. We do have a great deal of work to do for walking on a leash, but most everything else will be easy to clean up.

The one behavior we must correct is her prey drive. Rather, how her prey drive is manifesting. Since she's a terrier mix, we expected some of that, but I'd guess her previous home indulged it a wee bit too much. She will joyfully speed after a thrown toy and race back with it, but absolutely will not release it. She instead wants to growl and play tug-of-war. And she's damned serious about it, too. Since a safe dog is one who releases on command immediately, teaching new behavior is a priority. I'll pick up liver treats tomorrow for the purpose.

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She and Gambit are off to a decent start. We haven't seen any non-play aggression between them to this point. There have been a few lip-curls when one felt the other was getting too close, or staying close for too long, but the other pup responded by backing off before things escalated. This is good--a setting of boundaries they're both respecting.

We did let the pair indulge in a little lunging and running. Gambit initiated it, then just about crapped a brick at Tanner's enthusiasm. Y'see, it's been more than a year since Ty and Gambit played at being battling grizzlies, and though Ty was a worthy opponent, he was a quiet one. Tanner gets into the snarls and growls, like some trash-talking spiked-collar-wearing Thunderdome warrior. She and Gambit shoulder-rammed each other once. Gambit knocked her down, then ran away a little freaked out because she was ready for more.

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Outside of that, LIttle Bit shows no fear of her. Not even a dislike of her. They're not cuddle-buddies, but they're fine drinking from the same water bowl at the same time, eating right beside each other from separate bowls, and sitting hip-to-hip in an anticipation of treats.

She's a cuddle-buddy with us humans, though. She head-butts like a cat when she wants attention, and has tucked her nose beneath my arm twice while I'm typing this. She's finally--finally!--taking a little nap beside me right now. It'll be a couple weeks before we know her true and relaxed disposition, though. She doesn't have the history of abuse and neglect that Gambit brought along, but she has spent three months in a high-stress shelter environment after losing all she knew for six years. That's a trauma in itself.

The head of the shelter was happy and sad to see her go. Tanner has been a favorite there, but difficult to find a home for because she's on the older side, and because her exacerbated prey drive made her inappropriate for a home that had small children (and little experience with incorporating dogs into a household). But her adulthood is perfect for us, as she's just a little older than we guess Gambit to be, and we're confident the prey drive can be corrected and redirected.

And she's so loving! And lovely! And gives freely of kisses and cuddles!

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Comments

( 9 comments — Leave a comment )
(Deleted comment)
blairmacg
Mar. 2nd, 2015 12:46 am (UTC)
That's good to hear!

I'm just not at a point in life where I want to deal with a puppy, alas. The housetraining, the chewing, the boundless energy... not my thing right now. :) So far, Tanner is showing the balance we're more accustomed to--likes to play and run, but is also content to snuggle. And once we figured out she simply wouldn't poop on snow, we dug out a little potty-circle and haven't had a problem. :)
(Deleted comment)
elenbarathi
Feb. 28th, 2015 06:29 am (UTC)
Oh, look at her; what a sweetie! I'm so glad you did get another dog right away; seems like Gambit really needs a pack-mate.

She looks really smart - do you do clicker-training? A clever, energetic dog needs to work; I'll bet you could teach her amazing tricks! Heh, and I don't think you'll ever be troubled by mice!
blairmacg
Mar. 2nd, 2015 12:51 am (UTC)
Gambit was actually even more mopey by the end of the first day, as if really bummed we hadn't brought home Ty instead. :( He's better today, but still not quite there.
green_knight
Feb. 28th, 2015 10:47 am (UTC)
There isn't a 'right' or 'wrong' timescale with these things. It sounds as if she's a good fit for your pack!

(Love the photos.)
blairmacg
Mar. 2nd, 2015 12:51 am (UTC)
I'm hoping so!
asakiyume
Feb. 28th, 2015 03:45 pm (UTC)
Welcome Tanner! You seem like just the right family for her to have ended up with.

blairmacg
Mar. 2nd, 2015 12:51 am (UTC)
We're hoping it all works out. :)
( 9 comments — Leave a comment )

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