Fostering Jagger is going rather well and Risa is pretty accepting of our new roommate. I’ve been able to have both dogs outside together without any serious altercations. Risa is still guarding me and her toys from the young interloper but I pretty much just let it go. Jagger, for one, seems to think it’s a game and races around like a fool when Risa tells him off trying to engage her in play. Much like another young dog we know who is Risa’s best friend. Risa is also not going over-the-top about guarding things so I’m letting it play out.
The two of them will play together but Risa is not all that into it. Jagger would be happy if she’d break down, tackle him, and chase him across the yard. I have been able to play fetch with them both (though neither dog actually brings a toy back). Jagger enjoys both chasing the toy and molesting Risa when she gets it. Watching the two of them, it’s easy to see the differences in their lives. For the last 6 years, Risa has had me to play with and interact with. Jagger probably never got that sort of one-on-one attention. When I have a toy to throw, Risa is locked on me. She’s just waiting for me to launch it. Jagger is usually off doing his own thing (usually eating grass or peeing on my plants) totally oblivious until he sees Risa racing across the yard. Even when he is paying attention and excited to chase the toy, Risa is not focused on him. She’d much rather play with me.
I will admit, that makes me feel really good. There are a lot of people out there who have regular dogs who would give anything to play with another dog at the drop of a hat! Callie was such a dog. Jagger is as well. Risa is simply not. Whether due to her fears or her age, playing with other dogs isn’t high on her priority list. She can do it. And she does enjoy it. But it seems she’s rather interact with me. GREAT!
Jagger is starting to get that I am “The Source of All Good Things” but it’ll take some time. Like Risa, he probably didn’t have a great start in that respect. Probably no one really spent the time with him and showed him that it’s fun to interact with people. Though he does really enjoy petting so he wasn’t totally neglected. He just doesn’t have that handler focus yet.
I’ve also been letting the two of them loose in the house for brief moments. The short moments are going well; Risa doesn’t tell him off immediately for being near me which is great. I had them both out last night and that didn’t go as well as I would have hoped. Jagger was all over Risa and she was not going to tolerate it. She told him off but he didn’t listen. I had to step in and give Jaggy some time to relax and Risa a chance to take a break! I only had to step in twice before he got it and stopped being an obnoxious “little brother.” Once he relaxed, Risa just kept watching me while Jagger walked around. It was as if she was waiting for me to give her a cue to do something. Like having Jagger out was a training session of some sort!
And to think this dog has poor handler focus! 😉