Early Saturday morning, a co-worker asked me for a favor. Would I be willing to watch his dog overnight as he went out of town. Being a dog lover, I eagerly agreed – knowing full well Bear would be fine… but I did wonder about River.
I quickly got into action, making my house presentable (because, let’s be honest – who keeps their house presentable all the time? (No…really, who? If you do – how? Please share your secret.))
They arrived a bit sooner then I expected, but waited patiently before entering while I got River’s harness on her. The Maltese, as tiny as she was, was in a pet carrier. I’m sure she was terrified – having no idea where she was or who the big dogs were.
Having River secure, I said it was safe to let her out and explore. I was curious to see how River would react.
Bear – well, he was a CHAMP. He did everything that makes me proud that he is my dog. He sniffed and then ignored. It was great.
River, well, she tried to sniff but due to her energy level, the Maltese quickly felt threatened and snapped at River. That just made River more excited. Needless to say, neither seemed interested in making friends.
River barked. The Maltese barked. And both barked and barked and barked. No sniffing was to be had.
We tried for a bit and let the Maltese walk around and sniff and feel comfortable. But every time River approached, even cautiously, there was a snap of uncertainty that followed. And that just escalated the situation.
After trying for a bit, my co-worker’s wife conceded that perhaps this would not work out. I agreed – I did not want to stress their dog out more than necessary. But I was sad to miss the opportunity to teach River to behave around smaller dogs.
I did suggest future encounters, where we could introduce both dogs and work on them getting along. I like being able to help folks out, and not being able to help them this weekend bummed me out a bit.
But, hopefully, in the future, we can change that. After all, a simple walk between dogs can do wonders.