As I mentioned in my last blog, I made a trip to Michigan to pick up the lovely Mz. Bunny, soft fluffy coated Frenchie extrordinaire. While there, I grabbed Divine, who was going to her new home in St. Catharines, Ontario, and Mz. Bunny’s sidekick, Paris.
Integrating new dogs into any pack can take some work, but when your pack consists of a mix of neutered and intact bitches, introductions can be particularly tricky. My pack is composed of the canine equivalents of high school cliques – little clusters of dogs who prefer to hang out exclusively with each other, with very little mixing with the bitches in the other cliques.
Specifically, the ‘brindle bunch’ consists of Sailor, Penelope, Journey, Ellie, and Delilah, with Tessa hanging out with them as a sort of neutral sidekick-slash-matriarch. If this really was high school, they’d be the girls in the black leather jackets who hang out in the smoking area. The ‘cream team’ consists of Tula, Fanny and Mae. If this was high school, they’d be the cute blond cheerleaders with the winning grins and bitchy mean streaks. Ellie, Journey and Penelope can float from one group to another, and everyone tolerates Tessa and Delilah, but other than that the dividing lines are quite rigid, and I respect their rights to have drawn them.
So, where do new dogs fit in?
Divine wasn’t an issue at all, for the few days she was here. She made friends with everyone, including Sailor, who lately seems to hate almost all new dogs. Sailor says : “I’ve met as many dogs as I care to, thanks all the same”. I’d been told that Divine wasn’t a candidate for the ‘plays well with others’ award, but she proved us wrong, and fit in almost instantly. I was truly sorry to see her go to her new home on Sunday, but if this picture sent to me by Heather, her new owner, is any indication, she’s fitting in just as well there as she did here.
Paris, on the other hand, was a surprise of the opposite sort. A low dog on the totem pole at Barb’s house, Paris walked into ours and said “I can run these bitches no problem”. The mild mannered little goof ball who had been utterly submissive at Barb’s house became the lunch money stealing trouble maker at mine! I’ve discovered that running her for a good two hours a day up the wooded road behind our house has made her settle down remarkably. Right now, she’s the token brindle in the Fanny/Tula clique, since she and Sailor developed an instantaneous loathing for each other. Poor Sailor, she just refuses to acknowledge that she’s not the tough butt kicker she was a few years ago.
Mz. Bunny is a sweet heart, but her pregnancy has made her inclined to prefer holing up in private in the whelping room. When she does come out to visit, she seems to get along with everyone, so long as they leave her stuffed teddy bear alone, and don’t even think of looking at her food dish. Bunny also has a pillow fetish, and makes herself little nests out of the pillows on the bed in the whelping room. She’s a comfort loving dog, and has the softest coat I’ve ever felt on a Frenchie – literally like bunny rabbit fur. We’ll figure out which clique she fits in once her pups are older and weaned.
Bunny visited the vet today for her pregnancy xray, but the results were sort of on the fence.
The tech thinks she has three pups, but I am almost sure I can see four. Pups are indicated by the segmented white lines on the xray films – those are the spinal columns.
Three I can see definately, but in one area I swear there’s a double line – an error in developing the film, or another spine altogether? Less than ten days before we’ll know for sure… If she has Halloween puppies, I think we need some spookily esoteric monster names. Hobgoblin, maybe? Coblynau? Bodach? All those and lots more, on the wonderfully fun MonstroPedia…