Sun Pony Ranch

Diary of novice (clueless) ranch owners

Monday, February 09, 2009

Pup Update

Snickers is settled into her new life pretty much like a champ. The one exception is when Ginger is out teaching riding lessons, she can't very well have Snicks underfoot, so that is one of the rare times she leaves her home alone, downstairs. She most certainly prefers to be out and about, and barks her little head off at these times.

For a lot of reasons we wanted to get Snickers and Cisco and Autumn all introduced so that we didn't have to keep them segregated. When we first moved to the ranch, it was a very tough summer for our dogs in particular, and it just never worked out well mixing our dogs with Ginger's Patches. So we had precident causing us to be very cautious.

Also for a lot of reasons I've lamented the fact that our dogs have been not-kennel-approved. We'd tried them out in the play yards way back when, but Cisco has always been extra dominating, and in these yards he was worse than ever before at the dog parks. I have to assume he feels some ownership of the yards. And much like the teacher's child that can't catch a break in the classroom, so too do we expect so much more from our own dogs in the yards. It's one thing for a customer's dog to get a nip from another customer's dog -- but if it came from our own dog? Ai Yi Yi.

So, for years now they have stayed in the house and watched the kennel dogs play through the window. This is far from what we'd hoped would be their life when planning this whole deal, so it's always been a nagging feeling of failure.

Since it is our slow time of the year (with the huge exception of the holiday weeks), a few months ago we started introducing them out to the play groups again. I'm happy to say it's working out. I think they both must have mellowed out a lot in the past year. Certainly neither of them have the stamina they used to. I'm not sure Autumn is ever going to be 'up' for playing all day again - she pretty much poops out after just a half day. Cisco, though, he just keeps on going, even though he pays for it later with aches and pains. He may be slower, but he still thinks he needs to dominate every other dog in the group... *sigh*

So it was a natural thing to introduce them to Snickers out in the dog yards. It really could not have been less dramatic. The three of them all walked back across the parking lot together, everyone cool as a cucumber. (Cisco hobbling, Autumn struggling to stay awake). And on into the house together... and suddenly Cisco and Autumn said -- Now waaaaiit a minute! But they were mostly just curious - as if they hadn't just spent the day with her. Cisco still keeps one eye pegged on her whenever she is in the house with us, but he isn't too bothered by her presence. And soon, hopefully, he'll relax totally.

So, now our problem is solved. When Snicks is downstairs alone, eventually we hear her come up the basement steps and sniffs and snorts under the door. We open the door and invite her to spend the afternoon with us. Only, it seems she is still fixated on Ginger down at the arena. None of our windows facing the arena are close enough to the ground for her to see out. But she makes due.

Dave said -- "She sure rules the household".

My reply? "Yeah, two households."

As if it weren't before, it's become clear that the furniture-is-off-limits rule has never sunk in for Snickers. Ginger was surprised that she kept finding fingerprints on her bar-height glass dining room table, so she took a closer look. NOT fingerprints; pawprints.



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