I’ve been getting strange looks when I confess that I’ve had a puppy for four months and we’re still keeping him separated from the older dog. On Saturday, I got one from the trainer at Leo’s puppy prep school (she has not met Isis, but said she’d like to). My heart was heavy all through puppy class, even though Leo was doing extremely well. Something is wrong with my family.
I felt more judgment coming from extended family members who clearly think we should just put the dogs together and let them sort it out.
I think it’s true that normal dog behavior would be for them to tussle, establish position and move on. But I don’t think that will happen with Isis. Her psychology is such that she would go into such a frenzy that she wouldn’t respond to Leo’s submission like she’s “supposed to.”
Instead of feeling heavy-hearted, suppose I take the Buddhist notion of living in the present moment. Not worrying about the past or the future. Not dwelling on what happened those few times we let the dogs interact or fretting about whether these dogs will ever play together.
Yesterday, we took Isis to Rob’s parents’ house. She got ice cream from Dairy Queen, played ball with Grandma and relaxed on the floor of the computer room while Rob posted a Craigslist ad for his mom. Happy dog. Huge smile. Warmed my heart.
I took Leo out in the backyard when we got home. He ran and played for an hour. Despite a weather forecast of “miserable,” there was some sun and a brisk fall wind. Leo romped and chased a tennis ball. He pounced on a fly. He sat down beside me and looked out into the trees with the wind blowing in his face. Brought me joy.