Schwartz has been our only dog for the past few years. For the most part he seems to be
okay, although he does enjoy playing with other dogs when he gets the chance. But being the only dog can be lonely for an animal that would normally belong to a pack. I guess Al and I would be part of his pack but we really don’t do dog stuff — like catch squirrels or bury bones only to dig them up after they’ve “aged”. So I have always thought he might be happier with another dog around to keep him company.
A week ago we got a puppy. The puppy came from another farm and was born in the middle of the winter. It is an added bonus that it is an outside-pup. The pup had never been in a vehicle before we brought him home and the biggest dog he had ever seen was still quite a bit smaller than Schwartz. So the experience was very scary for the little guy. Schwartz was interested in him, but more out of curiosity than anything else.
At one point in the evening Schwartz ran off the deck to chase a raven and the pup just happened to be in his path. Schwartz wasn’t paying the pup any attention but of course the pup saw it differently. He let out a painful yelp and turned to protect himself from the attack he was sure was coming. Schwartz just ran past him, ignoring the dramatic display. When he chose a corner of the deck to curl up and sleep on, I put a small dog carrier there so he could have some protection from the weather. I knew it was too much to ask both dogs to use one dog bed. But the pup seemed to be put-out that I had put something where he wanted to be. He curled up anyway, but against the outside of the dog carrier instead.
The next morning the pup was still very nervous around Schwartz. He yelped in alarm when Schwartz got up and stretched. Gradually he realized he was in no danger and around mid-day they even started to play a bit. I gave the pup (who was still nameless at this point) a turkey leg to chew on. He ate about half of it, then left it alone. Then I noticed he was using the dog bed and Schwartz was napping in the sun by the door. Because the rest of the turkey leg was nowhere to be found, I figure they traded.
With the dogs getting along fairly well we focused on what to name the pup. The discussion included feedback from friends and family on social media. Eventually we chose “Dakota”, which means “friend” in Sioux. And hopefully he will be a good friend to Schwartz.