I’ve been getting a lot of questions about how everybody is getting along and I can easily say that they are all getting along very well.
I never really thought about or wished for a 3 dog household. Last October, we were visiting friends with a new litter and I was clear with everyone around me that we are a 2 dog family and didn’t have room for another. So what changed? In the back of my mind I know Annie is a senior and won’t be with us for a long, long time but I don’t want to predict when that might happen so I just thought seize the day, go with what feels right.
I considered all of the changes that I could think of but my biggest worry wasn’t about logistics (3 crates in one room is A LOT), increased food and care costs or the extra hair and muddy footprints. I was most worried about Annie and how she would respond. I don’t want her to think we are replacing her or that it’s OK for her to start to slow down. I have always felt that Charlie stopped fighting once he saw that we would be taken care of by Maisie. I’m still shocked that he curled up by my feet and then took his last breath. He was so quiet about it but seemed to be at peace.
Annie has changed so much over the past year and a half. She is much more confident, very affectionate and is so devoted to my husband and me. She and Maisie are good friends but Annie still doesn’t play with her. Annie will chase me in the yard and give me a little body slam which will get Maisie very excited. When Maisie tries to join us, on very rare occasions (usually when it’s very cold outside which makes them both more frisky) Annie might give her 20-30 seconds of play but then it always ends with Annie walking away and giving Maisie a scolding if she doesn’t back off.
When we arrived home with Winn, we stayed outside in the yard for introductions. Annie and Maisie were both curious and so, so gentle. Winn was a bit overwhelmed and stayed between my feet as she took in her new surroundings and these two girls. They both gave her some sniffs and then Annie strolled away, keeping a good distance for the rest of the day. Maisie was more persistent and Winn was very clear with her about appropriate boundaries. It was pretty much what I expected from all of them but it didn’t take very long for them to adjust, settle down and accept each other.
It has been so fun watching Winn explore our house and yard and find her favorite spots. She has discovered the tiny bathroom and likes the feel of the cool tile on her belly and the cast iron tub on her back. She loves toys and will rummage through the toy basket when she’s ready for a new one. She’s a crate hopper, she rolls around in all the crates but seems to like Annie’s best. Once she has pulled out a toy, she will frequently drag it into Annie’s crate. Annie doesn’t play with toys but once Winn leaves her crate Annie will quickly go in and flop down without regard to any toy that may have been left behind. Winn enjoys being outside, both in our back yard and on our front porch and like every Newfie I know, she LOVES the water bowl.
The most heartwarming part of all of this has been watching Annie and Winn. Annie really loves her! She actually play bowed to Winn on day 2 and since then I have watched them playing together several times each day and of course she is so incredibly gentle. Annie plays in very short bursts but to see her initiate play and willingly engage with Winn is wonderful, it’s a new behavior that we really have never seen out of her. My husband thinks that for Annie, Winn is the puppy that she got to keep. She gets to love her, play with her and show her the ways of our house and she isn’t a product of Annie’s mothering days which were filled with so much hardship. I’m just relieved to see Annie so happy.