While this is my first adoption story, the same can not be said for Byron. 3 years ago, B adopted sweet Eleanor. At the time, B was beginning (what would be) his last semester at KU, and he needed a pup. He instantly felt a connection and fell in love with her when he saw her picture online. They have been inseparable since.
Eleanor's rescue story is very different than Bixby's. We are not sharing her full story, but there are a few things that are pertinent to understanding the next part of Bixby's story: Eleanor was adopted at age 2 or 3. Eleanor was not socialized. Eleanor is possessive. All of this has roots in her larger story, but those 3 facts are important.
Back to Bixby.
Monday, he is ours. At Fuzzy Friends, Bixby is getting a last minute bath to prepare for his Griffin homecoming. He saunters out, clumsily--his oversized paws make for a goofy walk--and furiously wags his tail. He remembers us! We don Bixby's new collar, with a black bone name tag attached, on him and hook on the leash. We walk out...he really is ours!
We knew the next part would be the trickiest: introducing him to Big Sis, Eleanor. Byron and I did much research to determine the best way to let them meet. We had our plan. As soon as we got home, I took Bixby on a walk to a nearby church parking lot, introducing him to a few neighbors on the way. Byron walked back in the house, as if nothing has happened, trying not to alert Eleanor. He prepared her to go on the very same walk to the parking lot. Bixby and I patiently awaited their turn of the corner.
The puppies saw each other. As stated above, Eleanor's social skills are not great. Upon seeing us, she begins tugging and doing a crazy walk. She sees her mom with someone new. I assume she feels betrayed. She probably could not care less. (She has a much greater love for B, than for me.)
As the pups near one another at this neutral location, they both start to get excited. They greet via sniffs and then begin to play. We call it a success! The true test will be how they share the space and people that possessive Eleanor has had to herself. We begin our journey home, switching pups, so that Eleanor can see her beloved dad with this new dog.
Before letting them in the house, we allow them to check out the backyard together. At first they do not play. Bixby is too curious; Eleanor, too overwhelmed.
After a while, we take the pups inside to give Bixby a tour of the house. As expected, he takes his time, sniffing everything over with wonder. Along the way, we begin to tell him "no!" for things not allowed. At this time, he does not have furniture privileges. Eleanor holds this over him.
Day one was adventurous! We also took Bixby to the vet for a checkover and on his first trip to Petsmart. The day was filled with laughter and love. The pups took several naps, exhausted by one another. Luckily, day one was void of accidents and barks, and at the end of the day, Bixby, accustomed to kennels from his former life, walked right into his 'pen' and fell fast asleep!
The rest of the week, we worked on training and not being too rough with his sister. We took the pups on a double doggie date to Petsmart and had them both hop in the car for small errands. It was not the world's easiest week, but we are so extremely happy to have a home of 4!