Meet my new furry friend, Vasco--120 lbs of delight. I've been looking for a walking partner for safety reasons. But none of my friends want to get up at 5 or 6 a.m. and walk. My former walking partner, Sam, is now 14 and has arthritis too badly. My vet told me last year I was torturing the poor guy and to let him retire. While walking alone in a "safe" area, I ran into a couple of terrifying incidents, so I don't walk alone anymore. As a result, I gained back the 40 lbs I lost and I don't feel as energetic and alive as I did when I walked every morning.
I've been telling friends that if I couldn't find a friend to walk with me, I'd just buy one. I mentioned it again to a friend on Wed. Yesterday she called and said, "Nancy, You need to call this lady. She has the perfect dog for you. I've already talked to her and told her about you and what you need and she told me about her dog. And she thinks you might be perfect. She'll even waive the rehoming fee if she likes you."
As soon as we hung up, I called the lady and after a long conversation, we agreed that this might be the perfect situation. Another friend and I drove an hour and a half to meet the lady and her family. And it was an instant friendship. Melanie and her husband are so nice! They're moving to Brazil and can't take Vasco (named after a Brazillian soccer team) with them. And they have turned down person after person, not thinking any of them were right for their baby. Vasco fell in love with me the minute he saw me. He was just all over me, wrapping his long body around my legs as if to capture me so I couldn't get away. He'd moan and rub against me for some attention. And Melanie said he didn't do that with anyone but her family. She'd never seen him react this way to any of their friends or other strangers. Vasco chose me.
Melanie and I will keep in touch and I told her I would keep her posted on Vasco's adventures and they can come and visit him when they come back to the states to visit her son. She and her husband are coming here next weekend to visit Vasco and have dinner with me and a my two friends who were involved in this adoption. Melanie hugged me when I got ready to leave, while her husband cried about losing his "baby" (all 120 lbs of "baby"! LOL). I told Melanie that she'd just made a new friend, and she replied, "I think I've found a sister." That was so sweet. I felt the same way.
So I brought Vasco home last night and there hasn't been much peace in the house. Sam, my 14 yr old Samoyed, is NOT happy. The expression on his face is, "Why'd you bring that thing home for???!!!"
Nikko, a 40 lb shepherd/border collie mix, was scared. He is not accustomed to being around such a giant. Usually, Nikko is the biggest of the dogs who come over to play with him--his "friends" are about 5 or 10 lbs, so Nikko has always been the giant. At first he snarled and snapped and Sam growled, so I've had to keep the dogs separated. Vasco is just a big playful pup at 3 yrs old. He just wants to have fun and doesn't understand why his new friends won't play. With tail wagging, he barks loudly for them to come out and play; he's whines and moans and begs. And they growled back.
I put his muzzle on and a leash on him and got him and Nikko both outside together. When Nikko realized the big guy wasn't going to hurt him, he finally called down, and in about 10 minutes, they were racing around the yard and going swimming in the pond like old friends. Vasco is rather protective of Nikko, already taking on the role of "big brother".
But when I let the two of them back in, Sam confronted Vasco and then Nikko attacked Sam, while Vasco just stood back barking, not participating. I don't know if he was saying, "Cut it out, you two!" or "Get him, Nikko!" Sam, twice as big as Nikko, got hurt, a couple of bites. So he's really not happy now, and once again Nikko is scared and hiding under the bed.
I really need all three of these guys to get along. I think Nikko will be ready to play with his big friend again in the morning. Vasco ran him ragged this afternoon, so he was kind of tired when he came in. Sam will take more time. Until a couple of years ago, he's been the only dog in the house. Now he not only has to share the house and me with Nikko, but also with this strange giant dog.
Do any of you have any tips to help me keep the peace? When they're "talking", it gets really loud here. I'm sure my brother can hear Vasco's big bark inside his house next door. When I get up at night to let them out, it's another big fight, trying to keep them separated and quiet. Vasco doesn't like being out alone on one side of the yard, when he knows the other two dogs are on the other side of the yard. He wants to be with them and he lets the neighborhood know. How can I get them all interracting positively? I've tried letting them communicate with the glass in the kitchen door separating them--so they can talk but not attack or intimidate. I've also tried separation them by a chair in the doorway so they could see and smell each other but not get to each other. What tricks do y'all have? I don't want to give up any of these beautiful creatures. I'm sure in time they can at least tolerate each other. But I'd like it to be sooner, rather than later. Any advice?