I can’t believe this. I went away to the DFW Writer’s Conference for the weekend, and when I got back, certain people in the house had hatched a plan to adopt a well-trained, 8 year-old, Siberian Husky from some friends of ours.
I apparently did have a choice in the matter, but it was difficult with those big eyes imploring me. And I’m not talking about the dog here.
We’re going to collect her on Tuesday, so if you have ANY advice for what we should do to get ready, please don’t be shy!
Adopting an older dog is one of the most happy-dance-for-you-and-all-of-doggy-dom things you can do, Nigel.
It’s difficult to give advice when I don’t know the dynamics at your house. [And, no, I’m not fishing for salient details. For once.]
When we adopted our now nine-year-old Lab, one of the things she had to learn was that we would return when we left the house. She had amusing now/OMG! No! in-the-moment separation anxiety when we first got her.
Bring some of her old toys. If she’s crate trained, and accustomed to that safe haven, bring it with.
The best thing? Lots and lots of love and attention, and stay with her when she explores. If she shies away from you, let her. Be casual, friendly, and she’ll eventually come to you.
Sometimes anxiety will cause dogs to temporarily un-house-train themselves. It’s temporary. Take her outside often, and (whatever you do) DO NOT SWITCH HER FOOD without a phase-in window.
Get the low-down on commands used by her current “parents.”
And, yes, if it’s “go pooh-poof for daddy, Fifi,” deal with it. 😉
Thanks Gloria. We do know her and she does know us a little from visits to our friends. Yeah, we’ve had a run down of phrases she responds to. They were going to give her the last bag of food they have for her, but thanks for the warning about switching food. We can make sure we stick to the same stuff. We’ll let you know how it works out.
Did you get the email link from Amazon?
Since she’s 8 years old and not a puppy, the best thing is to ask your friends to tell you everything they know about her. Training, commands, habits, fears, reactions (positive and/or negative) etc. Any info and details will be useful.
Other than that, you’ll learn along with her. For the first weeks, don’t let her out on her own, don’t walk her without a leash, and in general, be careful so she will not try to get away, attempting to return to her previous home. The first thing she will have to accept, and get used to, is that her new home is with you. You have to observe and learn how to be with her.
It’s a good thing that she’s well trained. But she has to get used to the fact that she will have new family.
Best of luck 😀
Thanks for the info, Irene. We’ll definitely keep her on a lead outside the house. We’ve had a good run down from the owners and they will be around for a few more days in case we have problems. I’ve got my fingers crossed this works out!
Forget the dog. Your big challenge is to keep Anita from seeing all those photos of you mugging with all the female writers at the conference.
Well, it’s a tough job …
We ladies have a way of getting what we want. 😉 Enjoy the dog! I’m inundated with cats here, so I have no canine advice for you.
What a treat to see you at DFW Con again!
Great to see you this weekend and glad you got home in the end!
I did the cat thing years ago, and agreeing to a dog was really hard. But she’s here now, so it’ll work out one way or another.
Congrats on your new family addition! I’m mostly a cat person, but for the short time I co-owned a dog, my favorite part was the excuse to go for walks every day. Enjoy! 🙂
Hi Diane. Yes, there’s lots of walking involved. My usual couple of miles on treadmill in the morning is now a jaunt round the estate. It great, but I’m avoiding thinking about winter …
Yes, but treadmills are great for exercising a dog, especially large breeds. See what Cesar Millan http://www.cesarsway.com/, or his show on tv. I’ve seen a lot of dogs he puts on treadmills for exercise, since their owners can not always provide the exercise a dog needs. And the dogs after they get used to it, they love the treadmill. However, you have to see first how it is done, so not to have accidents. Look it up.
Hi Irene. After just a couple of days of being dragged around the neighborhood, that idea is beginning to sound appealing! Actually it’s been fun so far, and getting so exercise in the outdoors is nice at this time of the year. The peak of summer may be different …