Adding to the Family

I take a long time to recover after losing a pet, but Greg has been wanting another rottie even while Iko was alive. He was afraid he'd die before getting one more. It felt morbid to me, but I understood. We're at that age where we're starting to think about endgame exit plans.

Nana (the border collie who wants to rule the world) was the problem. She dislikes other animals. She especially dislikes female dogs. ...but she is a little more forgiving with baby animals. That's why Jammy the cat integrated so well. And I hope the puppy will too.

Greg finally got his rottie puppy. His name is Odin. I preferred a different name, but this is Greg's dog so he had final say. I think he'll always be Odi to me. Maybe when he's bigger he'll look more like an Odin.

He's a very sweet puppy. He loves people (unlike Nana) and is quite confident for a puppy so young.

I think every instance of introducing new family members is unique. You have to take in your own family's dynamic. Are there children, senior pets, disabled or senior people, long work hours, or weird schedules?

There's no one size fits all. It's been a work in progress for us. If our test kitten was any indication, Nana should accept Odin too. (Eventually.) Little does she know he'll be bigger than her by next year. By then I hope everyone will be friends, or at least allies.

I'm a little obsessive-compulsive with new animals. I make it my mission to learn all their quirks and habits. This way I'll know when something is off. With both of us retired, it's been easier raising this puppy because someone is always on call. We won't be giving him much freedom until he's old enough to get all his shots. Until then he's under a watchful eye.

By the way, it must've been kismet when we got this puppy. We saw the ad on our 44th wedding anniversary. You can't really tell much about puppies so we asked to see the parents.

Odin's dad reminded us very much of our Tank. It almost felt like a message. And then when Greg saw this little guy, it was love at first sight. I knew we were taking him home, even though I begged Greg to examine the puppies with his head and not his heart.

Obviously, that advice fell on deaf ears. :)

What's been your experience when bringing new pets to the family? Was it an easy transition? Did you have any resident hardliners who didn't accept the new pet?


Is it even possible to pick a puppy based on anything other than your heart? :)

Good luck with the Odi! He's a lucky pup to have you guys. :)
Maria Zannini said…
Madeline: Oh, I know. I can't blame him. LOL!
Carole West said…
What a cutie - Congrats...
When Dixie passed almost a year ago I wasn't sure if we would get another dog, it was so hard and I still miss her and my sweet lucky. But the loss isn't as raw as it once was so we've been talking about getting another dog, but I think we're going to wait until we finish Quail Grove because we need to focus right now.

As for Transitioning animals we brought Dixie in as a pup and introduced her to our older dog and a crazy cat. This was on our farm and thank goodness for the land because it seemed to give everybody enough distance and eventually things worked out. I must say the cat never liked that dogs and pretty sure they felt the same about her.

I wouldn't say I missed those days because it was a lot of work but I miss having animals, especially my dogs. They were family... Enjoy!
Maria Zannini said…
Carole: It is a lot of work, especially if animals don't like each other. We had that happen many years ago and I remember having so much more time when one of the two 'dissidents' passed away. I didn't realize how much more I had to do to keep peace in the family.

I hope Nana will relent and accept the puppy soon.
Michael Keyton said…
'We’re at that age where we’re starting to think about endgame exit plans.' You're going to have a lot of fun in your declining years :) (I hope so)
jacabur1 said…
Welcome Odin/Odie, thanks to Garfield and my love of reading mythology both names are familiar to me.

Maria, we have been in a situation where one furry family member refused to accept and embrace the other. With our deceased Tomcat Blade and my now 16 year old female Calico Munequa it was on her part until he outgrew her and then for the rest of his 8 1/2 years of life Mr. "mountain lion/panther" decided older and smaller "sister" was fair game.

Talk about tension, stress and work to keep things from escalating to disaster and now with only the one cat most of those things have eased for me as I was unfortunately the "peace keeper" of the family for them.

I really am glad Greg found his new pup, it will maybe be more work for you two but in the long run what wonderful rewarding memories will be made over the years.
lynnviehl said…
What a darling pup! Congrats to you and Greg.

We recently took on dog-sitting our son's rescued whippet/hound mix while he and his girlfriend were having their first child. Gizmo (what a name, right?) is about a year old, mostly still puppy, but as big/strong/fast as a greyhound. Thank heavens they took her for obedience training from the start. She basically walked me. :)

My two dogs are elderly now, but my male is a marshmallow, and got along with Gizmo fine. Unfortunately my little female hated her on sight (and she hates pretty much everyone but me, so not a surprise.) I had to start using the water spray bottle again to break up the inevitable rumbles, but otherwise I let the dogs sort it out. By the time Gizmo was ready to go home everyone had settled into an uneasy truce.

We've thought a lot about our endgame exit plans, especially if we both go close together. It's why I won't adopt any more cats, as ours tend to live for fifteen or twenty years. Our daughter has promised to look after any pets who survive us, but I'm not sure if we'll even chance getting a puppy again. I think we might do better to adopt an older rescue dog. We'll see.
LD Masterson said…
He's adorable, and so lucky in his new family. I'm still grieving for Sophie but the empty nest is starting to bother me so maybe soon. I saw a little face on a local shelter web site that quite grabbed my heart but I guess she was too cute because someone else adopted her before I could get there. Stan and I decided we're going to adopt a senior dog this time. A better match for our activity level and seniors are often harder to place. I think we can give some old girl (I'm partial to girls) a loving, comfortable home to enjoy her senior years.
Maria Zannini said…
Mike: It might not always be fun, but it's never dull. :)
Maria Zannini said…
Jackie: It's very stressful until you know they'll be okay with each other. Right now we have some strange sleeping arrangements until everyone settles down.
Maria Zannini said…
Lynn: Nana is very much like your female dog. She tolerates but doesn't trust most people, but she won't abide other animals if they take attention from her. We're in the midst of 'reeducation'.

re: exit plan
Each pet has a sizable pension in our will, with notes on who we'd like each to go to in the order of preference. Nana will be a problem since she's best in a home with no other pets. I've got several people who want Jammy. Odin should be an easy sell too. :)
Maria Zannini said…
Linda: Our original plan was to get an older rottie, but because Nana is such a stubborn cuss we thought she'd accept a puppy easier. I hope so anyway.

I hope too you'll find a new buddy soon. They need you! :)
Author R. Mac Wheeler said…

What a great name for a Rott.

Such a cutie
Maria Zannini said…
Mac: I hope he grows into it. :)
When I saw the title and the pic of that ADORABLE furbaby, I giggled with delight.

I hope Nana gets along well with Odin. He's so handsome :-)

Enjoy the new addition to your family!
Maria Zannini said…
Angela: He's a sweet boy. Unfortunately, Nana is not impressed. The work continues.
Lisa Lombardo said…
Every pet I've ever had was a rescue and most were unplanned. They showed up on our doorstep, or where I worked...or friends couldn't keep them and know I'm a big softie.

Quite often things were unsettled with the other pets we already 'owned'...but we almost always got things worked out. We only had one situation where two cats never got along. It did make for some drama.

Best wishes with the puppy!
Maria Zannini said…
Lisa: Our border collie is a problem child. I saw it right off the first day we took her to puppy school. Even at 3 months old she disliked other animals. It's almost an outright disdain.

I've never seen anything like it. We raised her with our existing brood, but as soon as they died off, she went right back to being a antisocial. Very weird.