Join Date: Nov 2012
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
Thanked 28 Times in 15 Posts
Another update on George! George had a great Thanksgiving. My family had Thanksgiving dinner with a friend who lives about an hour and a half away. My friend lives alone, so I drove up the day before Thanksgiving to help her cook, etc., and I took George with me. I was a little nervous because he hasn't completely broken his habit of begging at the table, and also because my friend has a senior chocolate lab. I was worrying for nothing, though, because George was absolutely perfect!
He was so relaxed the whole time! On Thanksgiving day, he greeted everyone as they arrived, but he didn't jump or pester them. He laid next to my chair during dinner and didn't beg even once.
After dinner, I heard my friend ask George if he wanted a piece of turkey. I replied for him "no!" Ordinarily I'm not so strict, but I haven't given George any people food since trying to break him of his begging habit. Nonetheless, she gave her dog some turkey, and dropped a bit on the dog's head. I'm a bit miffed about what happened next. George went to take the turkey that fell on the lab's head, but the lab thought he was attacking her, so it escalated and they got into a little tussle. It wasn't serious, just some barking, no bloodshed, but poor George got blamed until I stood up for him!
George was a real trooper that day. We stopped by two other family members' houses on the way home, and he continued to do great! There were two shih-tzus and about ten people at the first house, and there were two other shih-tzus, a lab mix, about eight adults and four kids at the second house. My wife and I were worried about how George would interact with the shih-tzus and the kids, given how he was with our cat at first, but he was as gentle as could be. I was very proud of him!
Besides Thanksgiving, George has been settling in well here. He's still fascinated by the cat, but he hasn't "mouthed" him in a while. Sometimes he'll get too close, and the cat will let him know with a bop on the nose, but usually George loses interest on his own. I've left them home alone a number of times now, without even thinking about it at first.
After a week or so of keeping them separate, I think the key was to let them have time together to become familiar with one another. When we first got the cat, we already had a dog, and it took them about two weeks to become comfortable with one another. Even though the cat isn't 100% comfortable with George now, I think my wife and I initially overreacted, and it just took George a little longer to settle in.
Thanks everyone for your advice and encouragement! Now to tackle our next problem: George has a beautiful coat, but he's been starting to develop a couple of hot spots! I'm waiting to hear back from the rescue to see if I can take him to see his vet!