A couple weeks ago, my friend Kevin came over to visit with his tibetan mastiff puppy, Maribel. Maribel was bred by my friend Shana.:) So it's a pretty neat connection all the way around! After how well Miley played with Tito, I figured that playing with Maribel would be a piece of cake! Slightly different scenario though. Miley hadn't been running around on 5 acres and herding a golden retriever for an hour before she started playing with Maribel like she had with Tito. ;) And Miley was REALLY excited that she had visitors! After the initial off leash bout where Miley was more exuberant than Maribel was feeling like at that moment, I wrangled Miley and the pups got to get to know each other with Miley a little more restrained. i.e. choke hold on the collar. ;)
After a bit of that, we decided to walk the girls down to Little Cesars and get some pizzas! Perfect opportunity for them to get to know each other more in a more controlled way. Plus Maribel got to see, smell, and get exposed to a variety of things on the walk, while having Miley as a role model to show her how mundane everything was. While I grabbed the pizzas, Kevin had the "pleasure" of holding both girls. :)
Then it was back to my house for a little more playing in the back yard.
Now if only either Kevin or I had taken some video of the girls together.......
Obviously I've been putting in extra time to not only keep Miley entertained, but to make sure that she's getting to play with other dogs. It's something that I never put particular effort into with Heffner here, because she had him to interact with every day. There were always periodic play sessions with other dogs, but not something that I was really trying to make sure she got super regularly. Now with her as an only child, I'm more concerned that she get all the outlets she needs. Especially considering what a little social butterfly she is. This dog is a serious extrovert! So now I'm on heightened awareness of how many play dates she gets. How many walks beyond our usual routes around the house we go on. And how many novel situations I put her into. Admittedly, it's a lot easier to obsess about these things and put the added effort in when I've got only one dog to focus on and juggle. But the flip side is that I feel added pressure to make sure that her waking hours that I'm not working are filled, stimulating and that she's not getting stale. This pressure comes from no where or no one else but myself and while I realize that, it's there none the less. I'm also still battling a little bit with the internal need to stay mentally occupied so that I don't think about Heffner. I'm working on it, but it's like a lot of things in training. You tend to work on the things that either come easier or are more fun to work on, than the things that aren't fun or you're struggling with.
I hope everyone had a great weekend! And here's hoping Monday will be gentle!