Puppy Sitting

We learned a lesson last weekend. Poppy Cotton doesn’t like puppies.  In her house. At least not big, smooshy, playful ones.

We have been on the Puppy Sitting list for Susquehanna Service Dogs for a while. Sometimes the regular Puppy Raiser needs to send the puppy somewhere else while they go away on vacation or just take a break for the weekend.  On those occasions, Puppy Sitters fill in.  A last minute opportunity for sitting one of three 14-week old puppies came up for this weekend.  I decided it was time to take the plunge and responded that we were available.

We picked up the sweetest, most mellow and laid back 14-month old black lab puppy named Keating. He was huge (almost 30 lbs!) and clumsy and snuggly and playful.  The girls loved playing with him; he was enamoured with Molly,  and he started following her around everywhere she went. And when I sat down on the couch, he wanted to be right up here with me.

We expected a little adjustment time for Poppy to get used to having the puppy around. She’s usually excited to meet new dogs, and while she might be a little grumpy at first, she warms up and wants to play. But with him, here in our house, she just got more grumpy and growly and stressed.

I think Keating just wanted to play with Poppy. He would follow her around – the faster she went to get away, the faster he would go.  He would romp and meander around all at the same time, with his big floppy ears and huge paws.  After a difficult evening of trying introduce them and then a whole night of keeping them seperated, neither one happy, we decided it just wasn’t going to work for us to have him at our house for the entire weekend.  It was just too stressful for everyone.  We had to call and ask them to find somewhere else for him to go.  I was sad, the girls were sad, I think even Uncle Grouchy was sad.

We definitely learned some lessons to consider before we get another puppy (which we’ve been talking about).  We need to get Poppy more used to meeting new dogs, especially puppies.  Or we need to consider getting a more mature dog.  Either way, I think we need to get her used to having other dogs visit the house before bringing one here permanently.

This is the closest Poppy would let him get. And she would not relax if he was nearby.

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