Friday, July 27, 2012

Shih Tzu meets Great Dane

My sister has an 8 pound Shih-Tzu.  I have an 80 pound Great Dane mix and a 112 pound Great Dane.

We decided the 3 of them should meet.  Neither of mine would intentionally harm her, but they are so very much bigger they could hurt her accidentally. So I was a little worried.

Barb and I had both imagined Meeka would bark her head off at my two as soon as my sister carried her through my front door.  She is very brave and brassy when she is walked around their condo.  But she was terrified.  And overwhelmed as my two tried to see just what the heck my sister was carrying. 

Angel was calmer and less threatening, coming up behind Meeka to sniff at her from under my sister's arm,  Bogie came at her from the front, at Meeka's eye level.  I struggled to keep Bogie at a reasonable distance.  I was more afraid he would knock my sister down than harm Meeka. 

Meeka cowered in Barb’s arms. I took her to hold her, but she wanted her mommy.  I thought we could put her on the stair landing and block the landing with ourselves.  That way my dogs could sniff her through the stair post without actually being able to get close to her.  

Meeka wouldn’t get down.  Then Bogie pulled out of his new collar and tried to rush to see her.  I grabbed him before he could get too close, straddling him.  This is not a particularly safe position as he can lift me off my feet.  I slipped his collar back on and pulled him back away from Barb. 

Instead we put Meeka on the breakfast counter.  She laid flat, eyes wide, flush against my sister, and stared at my dogs.  Bogie put his front paws on the counter – twice.  But when scolded he got down and he didn’t do it a third time.  

We both petted Meeka, and Angel and Bogie, and chatted.  At first, Meeka didn’t even want a treat.  Then she decided maybe it was safe to drop her guard for a moment.  I gave Barb a bag of squishy treats that Angel likes but Bogie doesn’t.  For every treat Meeka got, Angel got one.

Meeka started to roam the counter, away from the safety of Mom, shifting position to watch first one dog, then the other. Angel held her nose above the counter and she and Meeka sniffed each other. 

First she was startled, then fascinated, when Bogie tore out the doggy door to chase the pigeons.  She walked near the edge of the counter to peer at the doggy door.  When he returned unexpectedly, she jumped back to the center of the counter. 

She watched Bogie. But only when he wasn’t looking at her.  He put his nose over the counter and she started toward him.  They came within an inch of sniffing noses.  He huffed a big breath and she backed quickly away.  As he turned his head away, she approached cautiously.  He looked at her and she backed up again. He laid down at my feet with a Humph.  Meeka peered over the edge of the counter at him.  He looked up at her.  She scurried back away from the edge.

Not sure I will ever feel safe with Meeka on the ground.  But it was an interesting meet and greet.

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