Double trouble

Laura

When I was a little girl, I loved kitties so much and constantly begged my mom to get me one. Just one little kitty. Preferably a Siamese. We are siameeese if you pleeeease badumpbabump. Of course, she didn’t (she hated cats) but did end up giving me a stuffed kitty instead. I loved that Siamese kitty. I’d share a picture but it was thrown away with all of the other damaged toys when our basement flooded. Devastating.

Then I grew up…and became a dog person

Jim and I are dog people. We know this. He grew up always having a dog and we had Stimpy. Aw, Stimpy. This is my most favorite photo of her:

Stimpyyyyyyy

Shortly after we were married, we adopted our first dog. Mocha was insane but we loved her…and she loved us unconditionally. After we moved into our first house, we adopted our second dog to keep Mocha company. Haley was such a good girl and did everything her big sister did. We loved the dogs. And our dogs hated the cats. So we stuck with the dogs and adopted Shadow a few years after we had to put Mocha down.

Now Shadow is the best dog ever. Listens to you…gives love (as long as you’re scratching her belly)…but she barks at all the things that scare her. Once, when walking around the neighborhood, we came along a cat sitting by its house. Shadow was skeptical but stayed by my side on the sidewalk…until the cat charged us, chasing her around me (can you imagine how this looked?) resulting in the full out terror cries of the dog who I eventually had to pick up like a baby. Needless to say, she watched her back every time we walked past that house. Oh yeah, and relentlessly barked and chased every cat she saw. We might have encouraged it.

After moving to our forever home, we brought home Archer. You can read about that experience. The house was full with three puppies. I was in heaven. Then we lost our Haley. I really tried everything that I could think of to get Jim on board to adopt another puppy. Because PUPPIES! He wouldn’t budge.

Kitties are smaller

So I took another approach…we could get kitties…we’d need two. They wouldn’t take up much room, right? See? I’m a compromiser. Unfortunately I’m also impatient. And, weirdly enough, when it comes to cute animals, I’m pretty spontaneous. So we hit up craigslist and found two brothers. We picked a carrier up on the way. And a litter box, of course. Who’s the planner…me! But look at how cute they were…at 6 weeks old. I give you Smokey and Bandit…so little.

Puppies

In my head, everyone was going to get along.

Well that didn’t happen…

Even though the kitties were only six weeks old, apparently they were born with an innate sense of omgthedogsaresoscaryhisshiss. Or maybe it was just because Archer is huuuuuuuge. Either way there was much swatting and hissing. Followed by a terrified Archer.

Baby Steps

  1. Separate the animals – Smokey and Bandit moved into the master bath (oh yay)
  2. Don’t say “kitties” – we started calling them puppies because (see above) Shadow chases kitties
  3. Leave the doors closed – we kept the dogs out of our bedroom (except at night when Archer slept with us). This let everyone get used to the new noises.
  4. Open the door and add a baby gate – for short periods of time we would let the puppies sniff through the gate…well everyone except Archer who was still scared as hell and wouldn’t come near the bedroom.
  5. Remove the gate – we put Shadow on a leash (because Archer…) and took her into the bedroom. It went well enough. Maybe a couple of hisses. Improvement!
  6. After a couple of weeks we resurrected the cagedom in the living room. The puppies went into the cagedom with their toys while Archer and Shadow were able to hang out in the living room. This experiment was a major success. After about a week or so of this, they were “mostly” fine.

And they started hanging out together. Supervised, of course. Archer was still a little skeptical.

But then Archer and the puppies started playing and even Shadow stopped barking. And we haven’t heard a hiss for months. And that’s usually at each other.

Happy puppies

The puppies are still each other’s favorite though.

Now we may need a couple more….

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