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Discussion Starter #1
Hi everyone!

I currently have a senior Long Hair GSD (8 Y/O)that I rescued 4 years ago (has it been that long!?) that has bonded to me very well. I am single and he is the focus of all my attention and, unless I have to go to work/shopping/errands that I cannot bring him on, is with me all the time. I have always felt guilty about leaving him by himself while I am at work, as he seems lonely (my perception) when I check up on him with the 1000 cameras I installed to watch him while I am away. (please don't worry, he is monitored by my stay at home neighbors and is well tended to with an Acre yard to roam in, access to a heated garage via a large doggie door, continuous water and food as well as a his own car!). A day ago I was presented with an opportunity to rescue another senior that is also around 8 Y/O. She is recovering from starvation and is partially blind, but otherwise seems to be OK. Bruno and I are going to see her tomorrow to see how they get along and if they are OK with each other I'd like to add her to the family. I worry though that Bruno will get jealous of the reduced attention and strike out at her for it.

Can someone with similar experiences chime it and offer some advice as to how best to approach it?

Thanks,
Steve

The attached picture is Bruno in his car. I have a hard time getting him out of it he like to ride in it so much-even when I am working on it! He even wants to help me with the lawn!
 

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Handsome Bruno may like a lady companion :) I can't speak from experience since I've always just had one dog, but from other posts on adding a second dog, it is suggested to introduce them in a neutral area like a park. When a friend adopted a second dog, the foster mother brought the dog to a park and she was there with her dog. The dogs got along well so my friend went ahead with the adoption. So, I would suggest that you and Bruno meet the dog that way and see how it goes.
 

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Discussion Starter #3
Thanks for the reply!

Bruno and I are heading out today for introductions-hopefully the snow will hold off until they can meet!
 

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Sometimes seniors become very nurturing and doting on a special needs or health-challenged dog -- they can be very surprising in their reactions! I've fostered several seniors who came from neglected circumstances, and I honestly love having them around--they tend to acclimate beautifully to new circumstances, once given a chance.

Blind dogs are usually submissive with other dogs, out of necessity. However, they can't read other dogs' body language, so they don't relate to other dogs in quite the same way. Sighted dogs also may take a bit to figure out why this new dog keeps running into them and ignores "the look" to leave them alone.

If you get her, I can help you with some training and acclimating techniques. Several years ago, we adopted an older dog who was totally blind and had to figure it all out. Try to remember that blind dogs aren't truly disabled --they are normal dogs who just rely on smell and sound to move through the world (and those are already dogs' primary senses). They can do nearly everything sighted dogs can do...they just learn it differently.

Thank you for wanting to give her a good home!
 

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Well, Zoey is now in my home. I have to admit I having mixed feeelings about the whole situation and am wondering if I did the right thing.

Let me explain:

Zoey is not 8 Y/O she is more like 12, and she definitely has some hip issues. She is very frail and is being very timid right now. I was hoping to get Bruno a friend to play with that is around his age, this is not going to be the case-BUT, that is not the issue. I can deal with those and will love her as much as I can. The issues is the guilt I am feeling over having to share my attention with another GSD when Bruno has been my only child for so long. I can feel his confusion and see his reaction to having another dog in the house when it was just the two of us and I just don't know what to do. I feel as if our bond is going to become weaker and I am very afraid of that.

Anyone have any suggestions? I am sure in time things will get better and I will laugh at this later, but right now I am an emotional wreck.

Thanks,
Steve
 

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I have a senior and a youngster and they are pretty jealous of individual attention the other one gets. here are some things I do:

I take them on individual outings to town for training or just fun

if I can make time I walk them seperately

When I get home and let them out of their kennels I let the old one out first and spend a minute greeting her before I let him out because he will try to push her out of the way to get to me.

If I am running short errands I let one or the other ride along with me, usually her.

Do the bottom line for me is, I try to make one on one time for each dog.
 

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Thanks,

That is something I will try out.

We just got back from a walk this morning. Bruno and I usually go out before the sun comes up so I can let him run without the worry of other people/dogs on the path and that usually works out very well. I had her on a 25ft retractable and she didn't pull on it, or backup so I know some time in her life she was leashed. I wanted to see how Zoey would fair out in he dark with her partial blindness and she did better than I expected. She was slow at first, sniffing all the other dogs scents on the trail and Bruno was kind enough to always wait up the trial about 50/75ft for us to catch up (but I could tell he was impatient to get on a squirrel scent). As we got in the more wooded area, the 3/4 moon cast a nice glow and she was getting a bit more confident and would react when Bruno would get on a scent trail. I wanted to let her go, but there is too much undergrowth around the trees and I just see Her bonking herself on a tree, or worse getting a twig in the eye (I don't know why, but Bruno has uncanny night vision and can navigate the brush like it was full daylight outside).

Anyway, the fog was kinda thick on the second part of the trail and I could see that Zoey was starting to use Bruno as a guide as she would follow him closely as far as the lead would allow. (or they were on the same scent trail). I was much happier after the walk as it seemed Bruno didn't mind the company as much. Next we'll try a Daytime walk with them both tethered and see how that works.

I feed them both out of the same bowl at the end of the walk, while one ate, I groomed the other and that worked out well. Bruno was first and while Zoey was eating, he did approach her and sniffed her rear. She didn't react, other than being surprised, so that was good.

So we are back and Zoey is taking a nap (picture attached-any want to guess her age?). Later today I am going to do a quick trip and leave them alone with each other, monitor them on the Cameras and see what happens.

Thanks,
Steve
 

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I would recommend feeding them with a solid barrier of some sort in between, and not leaving them alone together. They don't know each other well enough, and you don't know them well enough as a pair to know this is safe if you know what I mean. My current female is 10, when she was 3 I adopted a rescue male. I installed tethers in the kitchen at various points, lightweight 4 ' leads, because I had 3 dogs to feed. All 3 went on tethers before I put down a bowl and didnt come off until I had picked up all bowls.

Later on I knew I could safely feed them loose together but scraps sometimes break out with new dogs and food can make it worse. I am all about preventing the preventable.
 

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I would recommend feeding them with a solid barrier of some sort in between, and not leaving them alone together. They don't know each other well enough, and you don't know them well enough as a pair to know this is safe if you know what I mean. My current female is 10, when she was 3 I adopted a rescue male. I installed tethers in the kitchen at various points, lightweight 4 ' leads, because I had 3 dogs to feed. All 3 went on tethers before I put down a bowl and didnt come off until I had picked up all bowls.

Later on I knew I could safely feed them loose together but scraps sometimes break out with new dogs and food can make it worse. I am all about preventing the preventable.
understood.

As far as the feeding, They only get fed when I am there to supervise, twice a day. Bruno wont even eat unless I am in the room with him unless I drop some raw food in. So I'll have to monitor that senario as they get more comfortable with each other and start getting back to a routine.

As far as unsupervised, They will at some point soon have to be alone together, it is unavoidable. There will be no food in the bowls in the garage, just water. Today I am just going to get out of their scent range (probably go to the neighbors) and watch them over the cameras for any problems.
 

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Well, Zoey is now in my home. I have to admit I having mixed feeelings about the whole situation and am wondering if I did the right thing.

Let me explain:

Zoey is not 8 Y/O she is more like 12, and she definitely has some hip issues. She is very frail and is being very timid right now. I was hoping to get Bruno a friend to play with that is around his age, this is not going to be the case-BUT, that is not the issue. I can deal with those and will love her as much as I can. The issues is the guilt I am feeling over having to share my attention with another GSD when Bruno has been my only child for so long. I can feel his confusion and see his reaction to having another dog in the house when it was just the two of us and I just don't know what to do. I feel as if our bond is going to become weaker and I am very afraid of that.

Anyone have any suggestions? I am sure in time things will get better and I will laugh at this later, but right now I am an emotional wreck.

Thanks,
Steve
Dogs are extraordinarily adaptable creatures. Bruno and his new friend will work things out, barring any genuine dog aggression. Which I'm assuming Bruno has never displayed.

Bruno will be a little off balance for a couple of days while he figures this all out. Sooner or later, it will dawn on him that the other dog isn't leaving and that's that. On to the next thing.

We tend to way overthink these things.

I understand you're an emotional wreck, but Bruno isn't. He's a bit baffled and more than a little curious. He'll be fine.

My Lexi is dog aggressive. When we brought the puppy home, she went up to his crate, gave him a casual sniff and then went about her business.

Let them work it out. Try not to interfere in their doggy communications, they don't misunderstand each other.
Give Bruno some extra TLC to assuage your needless guilt.

And you're a sweetheart for taking in a Senior Dog. They have a special place in my heart.
 

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Day two:

Zoey is settling in well. Bruno is somewhat confused about her, but has not shown any aggression towards her whatsoever. While we were out in the yard he actually tried to play with her a bit, but she just shied away, not knowing his intent and the fact that he was trotting at a fair clip and did a "drive-by" which startled her. They both love squeak toys and I was serenaded by the two munching on the squeakers like it was a conversation for about 30 minutes while I attempted to drink my morning coffee. I'm immune to the noise as Bruno has been a squeak toy lover since I've had him, adding one more was no big deal. I will however have to start setting limits on the time they have the toys as it seems they feed off each other and I see it never ending. That will be an adjustment as Bruno and I would play for a bit and then do a little bit of snuggling before the day would start in earnest and he would just abandon his squeak balls in place.

Today's walk was in more daylight, but I really didn't see any change in Zoey's gait. She seems to be well adjusted to her blindness as far as following the trails. I did have her off her leash for a while and she did OK. I will have to do some re-enforcement training with her though as she doesn't always come when recalled. Bruno was his typical self on the walk, waiting for us to catch up, but not really concerned with either of us-he is all about the "hunt".

I have a 9:20 vet appointment today, so we'll see how she fairs. I am very curious if she is "chipped" or not. Zoey was found wandering around half starved and partial blind by the People who found her. The people I got Zoey from seemed nice (and by rescuing her from certain death is a win), but her dogs were farm dogs and Zoey didn't didn't get a full screening from a Vet. She was given a rabies Vac, and treated for worms/fleas but I want to get a full work up done on her, her hips diagnosed and see what can be done about her eyes. If anything can be done, she will be treated, she deserves to see again no matter what her age!

As I sit here typing, Zoey and Bruno are lying down near me, both relaxed after the walk and I thank you all for reading this far. Writing this down helps with the changes that are taking place in our (the dogs and I) lives as we try and get accustomed to each other. I will continue to dote on Bruno while also ensuring Zoey gets her share of affection. Hopefully I will get adjusted to the changes and life can get back to usual + one!.

Cheers,
Steve
 

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Vet Visit

So we are back from the Vet. What a night and day difference in attitude between Zoey and Bruno. She was very calm and took everything in stride. Since the Vet Hospital couldn’t make heads or tails of the information that the Woman I got Zoey from gave me, We decided to start over. She got the works!

WELLNESS COMPREHENSIVE P.E.
DHLPP FIRST VACC
LYME DISEASE FIRST VAC
RABIES CANINE 3 YEAR BOOSTER
SNAP 4Dx Plus test (Canine)
SCHIRMER TEAR TEST
Senior Profile with Fecal O&P
AllerG-3 Large (60-801bs)
Dasuquin w/ MSM for large dogs (#84)
Tacrolimus 0.02% Ophth. Solution


Zoey has some minor arthritis in the hips, so she is starting a Glucosamine and Omega 3 fish oil regime as well as some drops for her right eye as it wasn’t producing enough tears. She definitely has cataracts, but she has something else as well (I haven't gotten the full report back yet-and forgot the name)and that has to be treated first. I’ll know more about treatment options after our second visit. They were able to get a stool sample, and her blood as well as all the shots, but not urine-I have to get that. I’ll know the results of her blood work this week. Vet says teeth look very good for her age. Her eye teeth (Canine) are a bit worn and don’t have a tip, but they said that is OK. They forgot to check if she is spayed, but they can only look for a scar so I can do that as well. She is upstairs sleeping now after her ordeal. She was a sweetheart for the entire visit, unlike Bruno who sings the song of his people the entire visit! He definitely has "I want ride in the car" issues anywhere we go and the Vet visits are doubly noisy (I think the next visit to the Vet for Bruno I'll park about a 1/2 mile away and walk to the vet and see if that is better)
 

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Thank you for giving Zoey a furever home. It takes time. Sounds like you have some good ideas.
 

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Zoey is beautiful and sounds like a sweetheart. Thank you so much for adding her to your family.

My biggest piece of advice is - 'Don't over think it.' That's what I tend to do. You and Zoey will bond. Bruno and Zoey will bond. You will love different things about each dog and you will love the interaction between them. Even if they never become the best playmates, they will be awesome snuggle buddies. You did a wonderful thing and have a very big heart.

Can't wait to hear more Bruno and Zoey stories. (And don't forget the pictures.)
 

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That is so sweet. By now, if they were going to fight, they would have. I am guessing she is very nonthreatening and they are getting used to each other. Dogs don't think like we do. Bruno isn't thinking, My owner got competition. He is just getting used to another dog in the house and how to relate to her. I think you lucked out and got two dogs who are relatively easy going and will become companions.

An online friend adopted a special needs senior, who is around 10 years old into a house with a 5 yr old GSD and a 3 yr old. They all get along very well, no fights. They each get special attention, and they also get time together. She has a non GSD and that little dog is getting pushed around a bit, but is very good natured.
 

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Thanks everyone for your words of encouragement-it is appreciated.

So today is the first day they are on their own. It is obvious that Zoey needs more sleep or that she is not on Bruno & I's schedule yet.

Are there some shortcuts to get the dogs to interact with each other more? I have two dogs that act like the other doesn't exists (except when I am giving the other attention). Am I expecting too much that they will interact? I am afraid that they are just going to ignore each other forever.

As the main example; since Zoey has sight issues, playing fetch is much different than with Bruno and I can't seem to figure out how to keep them both entertained. Bruno loves Fetch, we play it all the time, and Zoey is very enthused to have a squeak ball to munch on, but I can see her reaction of wanting to join in when I am throwing the ball for Bruno, but unable to track the ball. She can follow a yellow tennis ball as it rolls on the ground for about 5ft and will go after it, wagging her tail and trotting around as I chase her slowly around to get the ball back (She will "drop" on command-well, a couple of commands really). But, I am finding it really hard to roll the ball to her and throw a different ball to Bruno. I'll throw the ball about 5 times to Bruno while Zoey munches on the ball, and then roll another ball to her a couple times. Of course Bruno in the meantime is trying to snatch the ball rolling towards her because I assume he still thinks the ball is meant for him. This is where I start feeling sorry for Zoey and try to block Bruno from getting the ball which he doesn't understand and starts to whine. Now I start feeling even worse. :frown2: My dream is to have them both entertained at the same time by some compromise. The walks seem to be OK since they are both sniffing at things and the focus is off me, but in my heart I cannot ignore one while playing with the other-it is just not in me to do so and that is really tearing me apart. I have grown so attached to Bruno I feel that by ignoring him I am in some respect loving him less. He has been my entire world for the past 4 years, and while he is a spoiled brat most of the time I can't just stop feeling this way. On the other hand, Zoey is a very sweet dog-extremely affectionate and playful in a gentle way-I know I could give her a great life. I have been blessed with them both, so why do I feel guilty?

So, here is my crux.

Please pardon me, but I feel kinds of stupid being 50 years old and having this emotional dropout and telling perfect strangers about it. I usually don't wear my heart on my sleeve but when it comes to dogs, I wear my love for them proudly, and I hope as fellow dog lovers you can empathize with my plight. Though I live alone, I have a very supportive family and have been leaning on them for advice and shoring up. If I cannot get my emotions in check, my Parents will gladly accept Zoey into their home. They feel as strongly about her as I do and I know she'll love being with them as well (and the bonus that she'll have no stairs to climb and since they are retired, a 24 hr physical presence). I am not giving up though and I don't want anyone to think otherwise! I am going to see this through as best I can, but if I cannot reconcile this issue I am having, it is better for all of us. I want for her as I want for Bruno, to have as much love and support as humanly possible.

Thank you for reading. While I know this is mostly for myself to help come to grips with what I am feeling, I appreciate your patience and understanding while I try to get my emotions back in check.

Steve
 

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Steve I went through a similar situation about 5 years ago. We adopted two senior litter mates who had zero interest in fetch and had little to no training. My Lucky was a fetch nut. I made sure he still got his time playing and the girls went for walks or got something different to do. They were a very different dog then Lucky who had immense ball drive. They were the same age. They liked swimming Lucky hated water . It worked out well in the summer. Here is the other thing Zoey sounds older than Bruno , she may not want a play mate. Neither Thunder or Chevy wanted to play with Lucky. See how it goes give it a couple of weeks more. Then evaluate.
 
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