My sister has been a foster for the rescue that brought her dog Maddux to her for years. Recently, she became a foster failure when she officially added Gladys to her family. Gladys' adoption came shortly before the dogs and I had planned to visit my sister to see Reba McEntire. While I was super excited to meet my first niece, I was also nervous about how
the dogs Barley would react to having a new cousin.
Thankfully, my sister is super understanding about my crazy girl and was willing to go along with whatever crazy plans I had for introducing them. When we arrived at her house, I sent Rye out in the backyard with Gladys and my sister. Rye loves other dogs, but she doesn't do well with seeing them when she's on-leash--even if there's not an official greeting. While Rye and Gladys romped around, Barley and I unloaded the car and set up her crate.
Sometimes Rye decided to back Barley up if Barley is upset about another dog, so I didn't want to overwhelm Gladys with both dogs right away, so when the playful pups were tired, we brought them in and put both of them in crates.
Since Barley had done well with meeting Rye while Rye was in a crate, I thought that would be a good approach with Gladys, too. Barley hardly even noticed that Gladys was there! She ran to the basket of toys, found my nephew's treat ball, and started to play. Then we took Barley and Gladys on a walk together so they'd have some time to move near each other, too. They walked beautifully together. When we were just relaxing, Barley was not happy if Gladys approached her and she'd growl and bark at her as soon as she got a few feet away. Then Rye would start barking, too. Luckily, everyone in the house was good about reminding Gladys not to get too close and I kept Barley on leash any time all of the dogs were in the same room. By the end of our visit, Barley would nap on the chair while Gladys played with her toys a few feet away.
Even though they weren't best friends by the time we left, I was so pleased with how well they did. It took weeks before Barley would relax near Rye while she was in a crate--and that was with multiple daily "please love your new sister" training sessions. The fact that Barley would take a nap while Gladys moved around was amazing to me.
Rye loved having a new playmate. At first, Gladys wasn't quite sure what to think of Rye bouncing around the yard, but they found their groove pretty quickly.
Play mostly came in quick bursts because it was in the high 90s and humid every single day we were there, so there was a lot of darting under the big tree or resting in the shade to cool off.
When all three dogs were around each other, Rye still mostly chose to stay near Barley, but Rye thinks Gladys is the perfect addition to our family! And I couldn't agree more--I'm so excited to have a niece and I can't wait to spoil her rotten!