Louie's Adjustment To A Third Dog

I am Louie's person. He's incredibly protective of me, too. That dog doesn't like when another dog invades my personal space, and recognizes that my personal space boundaries encompass a 5' circle around me. Louie will step between me and another dog that tries to gain my attention, touch me in any way, or look me in the eye from across a room. Jealous is a bit of an understatement. 

Because Louie is so focused on saving me from the affections of other dogs, he generally doesn't interact with them. He looks like a total snob, ignoring dogs of all shapes and sizes as he stoically walks beside me, waiting to come between me and any other 4-legged being that will threaten our bond. 

Because rules are meant to be broken, Louie's one exception to his no-play contract are shih-tzus. Louie is in love with those long haired dogs. He just can't seem to control himself when he sees one, and lunges at it in an overt greeting and invitation to play. His reaction is interpreted as an aggressive act by other dogs, and his would-be friend cowers from him in terror. Pet conferences are a struggle for us both, as we engage in a contest of "who can spot the shih-tzu first." I think Louie finally gave up on his love of long hair, though, as last week's BlogPaws conference was the very first event where he didn't uncontrollably lunge at another dog.

Imagine my surprise, then, when I was sitting on a bench in a relatively empty lobby, and Louie leapt off the seat to greet another dog before I even knew that dog had entered our line of sight. I looked up to see what was going on (and call my errant dog back), when I realized that the dog wasn't a shih-tzu, but a shelter dog.

Louie loved Fiona from the moment he laid eyes on her.

I am so sure that Fiona is the dog we were meant to have. The fact that we were able to rescue a dog from the Humane Society at all is a miracle in itself. Having Louie accept her from the start is also a big deal. 

I didn't want to push my luck with the infatuation, so I let Fiona run around and take in the sights. I held Louie and we both watched her. I barely interacted with the sweet new dog, for fear of making Louie crazy jealous. I figured there would be a lifetime of togetherness to make up for that missed hour, if we chose to make her our own. I even went as far as to have friends help with Fiona the rest of the evening so that Louie and I could be together, as he expected. I really didn't want him to hate the new dog from the beginning, and have to work to undo that when we got home. It would be a much more difficult transition for all concerned, if that were the case.

All bets were off in the hotel room, though. With 3 dogs trying to do the meet and greet, it was crazy. Once we got all dogs settled into something that might work for the night, I held Fiona beside me, waiting for her to calm down. Louie snored at the foot of the bed.

Louie's boundaries of my protection include anything that I'm sitting or lying on. Beds, sofas, chairs and benches are for me and Louie to share. No other dog is allowed to even jump up and place a paw on that object. A dog sleeping under my arm is a total OHMYGOSH WHAT THE HECK ARE YOU DOING WITH THAT OTHER DOG kind of emergency situation. But Louie snored peacefully by my feet as Fiona laid by my side, allowing me to be a dog mom to someone other than him for once.

There is no doubt that Fiona is meant to be our dog. And by "our," I mean Micah's dog. 

The very first time Louie laid eyes on Fiona.

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