2011 October 18, Tuesday
San Gabriel Mountains, southern California
[Note: 2011 Oct 20, Thursday: We just added the video from Tuesday Oct 18, see below!]
If you're reading this, then you've already read about "Saving Scarlett" and the continuing saga of this homeless hungry waif, now become a blossoming young lady of the forest in her foster home with us. Every day we introduce her to new situations, new animals, new people, new challenges to her personality, social skills, coordination, and strength. Today was a big question mark, for today she was going to meet a new dog, a big, strong dog, who could play as tough or tougher than she ever could. We hoped for a happy outcome but wondered if there would be a bit of tooth-and-claw before we got there. She has been nothing but a mellow, gentle sweetheart here in our home with our senior dogs, and she has been the same with people everywhere we've gone -- sweet, social, affectionate, quiet. But we hadn't yet introduced her to other dogs, and now it would be on what she has come to consider as her own turf.
We took it slowly, but when we first brought Bear up to the porch with Scarlett inside, she raised a ruckus about this intruder. Hmm, try another tack. Took Bear outside the yard, came back inside and put Scarlett in her large cage in the kitchen, after letting her smell Bear all over us. We then invited "Bear" and his human dad inside, welcomed them, made a warm fuss over Bear and generally made sure there could be no mistake in her mind that this dog and his human were very welcome and we were all very comfortable together. Surprise -- she wagged her tail and smiled, seemed to want to be part of it all. We decided to take a hike up the canyon. Our two seniors can't make it up that rugged way, so we left them snoozing at home, and had Dave take Bear outside the yard. Then I brought Scarlett out, and we met down at the stream. Well, we stupid humans who can't read dogs very well, there was nothing to worry about. From the start, the two dogs started smelling things and sharing "the news", and from there on it was pure amusement watching them show off for each other, watching her tease and taunt and try very hard to get him to chase her (which he did much of the time), until they would both get exhausted and have to lie down together in the stream laughing.
She passed that test! And the two of them had more fun than we think that either of them have had in a very long time.