Winn hates horseflies and she has a good reason. At our very first water test, she was attacked by the largest horsefly I’ve ever seen. We could all hear it buzzing around her. She bobbed her head up and down watching it while it terrorized her, then she turned around and ran out of the water. Ever since then, she’s highly tuned to buzzing noises near the water. We’ve tested at 5 locations of which 3 of them have had horseflies. We’ve only returned to one of those locations because that one usually has high winds which helps to keep them away.
This post isn’t reallly about horseflies. On August 22nd, we brought home a Newfie puppy. Maisie was delighted, Winn was disturbed. Somehow she knew this puppy wasn’t just visiting. She came out to greet us, stopped in her tracks and looked at me, looked at the puppy, and then turned back around and went in the house.
Winn does her best to stay away from Zuzu. Whenever Zuzu comes near her, she literally runs away. Her dodge and weave to avoid Zuzu reminds me of how she moves when she senses a horsefly nearby. We spent the majority of time outside with the puppy for the first couple of weeks and Winn stayed inside by herself. She would come out occasionally, but once she spotted the puppy, she would go back in as quickly as possible. Winn loves to be outside, just not with that puppy!
We are trying to show Winn that our basic routines are staying the same. She isn’t going to miss out on the things that she is used to. Winn knows not to beg at the table, but she does make frequent attempts to make an exchange. When she knows we are done eating, she will go and find something that I have touched and will bring it to me hoping for a bite of whatever is left. She will bring bills, catalogs, magazines, gloves, my checkbook, hat, small packages and so many other things that I didn’t realize I left out. If she cant find something that might be valuable to me, she will bring me a water toy. She stopped doing this when Zuzu arrived.
That behavior has driven me nuts on many occasions, but once she stopped doing it, I missed it. On the fourth night of her staying inside while we ate, I stepped away from the table, called her out, gave her a bumper and then traded it for a bite of chicken. The next night I looked up and there she was, standing in the doorway with her bumper in her mouth, comtemplating making a trade. Since then, she has joined us outside, lying around while we eat and eagerly hopping up when we start to clean up.
I have kept them all under constant supervision. Zuzu has been persistent in trying to get Winn to like her. She slowly moves a little bit closer when they are lying down. She’ll rub up against her when she walks by, trying to give her a whiff of her sweetness. She has respected the distance that Winn wants, but will test things out each day to see if the rules still apply. It seems to be working, Winn doesn’t get up immediately if Zuzu plops down near her and has even approached her to give her a sniff now and then. There haven’t been any issues during feeding times or when I’m giving out treats. Winn knows they each get a share, and Zuzu waits her turn. Each day is getting better with all of them. Winn has even come outside when Maisie and Zuzu are playing and drifted in and out of the play circle.
Puppies are a huge amount of work and Winn and Maisie are so easy. Winn is now 5 and Maisie is 9, both are pretty low maintenance so it seemed like a good time to bring in a puppy. Last year I wasn’t ready, next year seemed too far away. My friend is a breeder and we have been talking about this for several years. I love the pair that were bred together. They both have sweet temperments, are good working dogs and each represent the breed standard beautifully. Zuzu is the first female that she has had with the white markings that I have always admired. She also exhibits the traits that she might be a good working dog. In other words, she’s the puppy I’ve been waiting for so now is the time. We are back to being a three Newfie household and I am so excited to see what this sweet girl and I can do together!