Bear’s Favorite Co-worker

Bear had settled in nicely while I was working. He found a spot on the floor and was napping. I was deep in a pile of work, focused – not paying attention to him.

It wasn’t long after lunch that I heard a co-worker exclaim, “Bear – where you going?”

I looked around. He was gone.

I had my suspicions. Evie must be around.

Sure enough, I found Bear. He had heard/smelled Evie and went wandering until he found her.

They get along great, and this time was no exception. They had a few minutes of play time before we broke them up so we could get back to work.

But that didn’t mean Bear didn’t go wandering a bit later until he found her. But this time, she was contained. And, fortunately, she is still too young to figure out how to leap over her barricade.



Fridays = Puppy days

Last Friday was a bit rough for some co-workers. So, I brought Bear to help ease the pain of the day.

Then Evie showed up.

Let’s just say, fun was had by all.

(Seriously – I think senior Bear really likes this puppy).

Puppy Fever

Seems to be puppy fever at the office. Shortly after Bear met Lulu, he met Evie.


Turns out, Evie is the same age as Lulu. Amazing the difference breed makes.

Bear and her had a good sniff session. Lots of sniffing.


She’s come back to the office for more visits. So far, she enjoys the antler. It seems to be popular among the dogs.


Some folks adopt tiny pups, some medium and some large. And every now and then, you met someone who goes all out and adopts a pup that will grow and grow and grow.

Meet Lulu, a 10 week old Great Pyrenees:


Bear was the first non-related dog she met. Needless to say, she was a bit scared at first (he’s so scary). But, she soon realized he was harmless.

Bear was kind enough to share his antler with her.


Although he had his doubts, it did seem to help.


It wasn’t long before she warmed up to him.


After a bit, we decided these two needed to pull their weight at the office. We decided to see how well they worked together. Needless to say, they are now “Willy” and “Nilly” at getting stuff done.

River vs the Maltese

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.

IMG_0033We 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.

The dark side

Not everything went smoothly while Greta was visiting. There were a couple of altercations. The first time Greta stayed with us, River was the clear instigator of all altercations. This time around, it varied. River actually seemed to be on really good behavior, but some things just lead to all out dog fights with all three dogs. Thankfully, no dogs were harmed (except for their egos).

IMG_0438The first incident occurred around dinnertime. Since Bear and River’s food is dehydrated, it takes a few minutes to prepare. While they were waiting, I walked out of the room. My mistake. I knew better.

It didn’t take long before I heard the squabble. By the time I got there, mere moments later, River was slinking away, but Bear was on the offense and went after Greta, who was more than willing to defend herself.

I quickly got the situation under control and no harm was done. I finished preparing their dinners and watched while they all ate in peace.

The next incident was a bit more surreal. It was Sunday morning. Bear and River had spent the night taking over my bed. They woke me up around 0700 – a lot earlier than I like to wake up on weekends (why can’t they do that during the week?). Greta, who had slept the night on the dog bed next to me, got up too.

I called the dogs back, not wanting to get up myself. Bear came and proceeded to lick my face.

Not exactly what I had in mind.

Greta came too, and proceeded to jump up on the bed and make herself at home.

Finally, River came. She was a little curious at Greta on the bed and proceeded to stand and sniff her. Greta got up and came face to face with River.

That’s when the growling started.

I don’t know who growled, but River’s body language gave no indication of unhappiness. I called River over, to pull her out of the situation.

She complied….by getting on the dog bed…that Greta had spent the night on.

IMG_0269Greta did not like that and followed River.

The growling continued.

Knowing Greta was being protective of her sleeping spot, I pulled River up onto the bed, hoping that would calm things.

It didn’t.

The two of them quickly went at it, and neither was backing down.

At this point, I was in the middle of the fight and that wasn’t good if it got worse. I was able to grab both collars and pull them apart.

That worked. I just had two tense dogs I was trying to hold apart by their collars. A large german shepherd and a shelter dog, who, by the way, wears a break-a-way collar.

I let go of Greta’s collar, trusting her more than River.

She snarled and went for River.

I grabbed her collar again and pulled them apart. Again.

Not knowing who to trust, I kept them apart until I was able to stand up (remember I had been trying to sleep). At that point, I had leverage over both.

That seemed to calm them down.

“Well, so much for sleeping in,” I said to them.

I released them and they happily walked out of the room and followed me downstairs.

If anything, I think it was their plan to get me out of bed.


I took a break from yard work to grill up some lunch. That didn’t stop Greta from trying to convince me to play fetch.

First, she left the ball on the steps and just stared at it, willing it to move.


When that didn’t work, she laid down to wait patiently.


Well, sorta patiently.


Needless to say, after lunch we played fetch.

And by now, that ball was a soaking wet mess.

Springtime chores…and fetch?

Fetch. Fetch. Fetch.

Saturday was a beautiful spring day. Perfect day to mow the lawn for the first time this year.

I opened up the doors to let some fresh air in the house. Not wanting to keep all the dogs in the house unattended while I worked, I let Greta outside to enjoy the fresh air.

The lawnmower required a few extra pulls to get it started after being stored over the winter. But it soon purred to life and I got to work taking care of the front yard.

Bear and River set up shop at the front door and watched me. Greta watched me too – from the other side of the fence. Every now and then, I’d catch her with a tennis ball in her mouth, just begging me to come and throw it.

Chomp. Chomp. Chomp.

After lunch, I set to work on the backyard. This time, I let Bear and River outside with me. This would be the first time River has been outside while I did yard work. It would also be the longest I’ve left her out. I assumed she would love it and I would spend the whole time keeping track of where she was just in case she found another escape route. I assumed wrong.

Greta wasted no time trotting over with the tennis ball and dropping it at my feet. I picked it up and tossed it to the other end of the yard and proceeded to mow the lawn. Greta came running back, ball in mouth. Un-phased by the running mower, she dropped the ball again. I picked it up and tossed it again and continued mowing. This went on for a little bit before Greta settled down in yard and chomped on the ball.

Can we go inside?

Bear settled in on the deck to enjoy the sun.

River stood at the door, begging to go in.

As much as I wanted her to love just exploring the yard, she reminded me of Josie. I’m okay with that. She has all summer to explore the yard.


Bear has an evening routine. When he knows it is bedtime, he runs upstairs and goes right to his bed. No questions asked.

River takes a bit more coaxing. It takes some encouragement, but she usually finds herself on my bed. She’s a good snuggler, so I’m okay with that.

Greta took to the routine quickly, but had no idea where to settle down. At first she stayed out in the hallway. I called her in and motioned to the other half of Bear’s bed. She made a move for my bed. No way was that happening – she’s huge compared to my small guys. I tried again to show her Bear’s bed and she returned to the hallway.

“Bear,” I said and motioned for him to move.  He got up and moved elsewhere. Without hesitation, Greta took his spot.


I smiled as the rest of the dogs found their spots for the night.


“Uh, guys? What about me?”

Take II

I picked up Greta on my way home from work. As I drove past the neighbor’s house, I saw their dog was out. Knowing I was about to put my dogs and Greta into the backyard, I started planning a strategy that would prevent the chaos of the other morning.

I put Greta out back first and walked to the fence to see if the dog was leashed. Finally, they had put him on a tie out.

Knowing he wasn’t going to go running off, I went inside and retrieved my pups. They were very excited to have Greta back.

I kept watching the neighbor’s dog, to see what he would do. He perked up when he heard River and Bear. But that was all, no running towards the fence or barking.


It didn’t take long until River realized he was out. She ran over to the fence and proceeded to bark. I tried to quiet her, but so far she has yet to learn that command.

“He’s tied up, so you don’t have to worry,” said Papa Neighbor. I hadn’t even realized he and his wife were outside.

“Oh, I know – I saw. I just don’t want her to keep barking.”

“It ain’t no bother,” he said.

Maybe not to you, I thought, but it is just common courtesy not to have an incessantly barking dog.

“How about we let them say hello?” I suggested. I know from experience most of my dogs only get more excited if they can’t say hello to the thing that excites them.  Then they calm and start to ignore. Josie did it. Bear does it. River does it.

“You think?” He sounded skeptical, but lengthened the tie out long enough for the dog to come say hello from the fence.

He’s a young boxer/lab/pit mix named Bo they got a couple months ago as a puppy. The dogs had tons of fun sniffing hello through the fence. I offered if they ever wanted to, we could let them run and play in the fenced in yard. I’m sure it would go a long way to keeping things calm at the fence line, plus it would help get much needed energy out of River and Bo (who I’m sure has lots of puppy energy).  They seemed reluctant, but that might be because he can fit through the fence and escape. Maybe when he gets a little older they will change their minds.

In the meantime, Greta wasn’t too excited about meeting Bo. She found a giant stick and ran around the yard with it.