Meet The Wonderful Willow

It is always a wild ride here. We have had as many of 7 dogs living in our house together. It is not always harmonious. Sometimes it is chaotic. But, over the last several years our family of dogs living with us has been shrinking. We were down to only two dogs living with us. We haven’t had only two dogs since my wife and I first started living together.

As our family has shrunk and things have become a little more stable, we have talked a lot that having three dogs in our home would probably be the ideal situation for us. We could have the two types of dogs we are most in love with and then one wild card dog. We love Bernese Mountain Dogs and Pitbull type dogs.

Willow looking straight into the camera.

River is our wildcard dog. After adding her to our household I had a lot of high hopes for doing so much with her and trying to teach her so much. But a lot of that was derailed by me being injured most of this year and not being able to be as active with River as I had hoped.

With all that we still knew we would want another dog in our home, but I just wasn’t ready. I felt like I had so much I still wanted to do with River before adding another dog, likely a puppy. As once a puppy is in the mix, training with River would be much more challenging as a puppy would be time consuming for a while. Between being injured and not as active as I want to be and not getting in as much work with River as I’d like to have I just wasn’t in a headspace where I was sure I was ready for a new puppy.

Willow sticker her head into a beat up Jolly Ball toy that everyone still loves.

My wife from time to time would show me dogs that were available for adoption. I would just shake my head and say, not ready. I knew we would eventually get a dog, but I didn’t know when things would come together. When would I be ready. I wasn’t ready to even visit dogs. Not unless things seemed just right.

Then eventually we saw some photos of an adorable Pitbull mix type dog at our local shelter. We have always admired the types of colors and markings on this dog. This overall silver/blue color overall with white markings. We decided to go see if we could visit this dog. Something about them just connected with me.

Will doing the balance beam on a tree trunk from a tree that fell in our yard.

Turns out that the dog we saw was actually in the process of being adopted. But, there were others from that same liter of dogs. One of those dogs was still available to adoption. So, were were able to meet this dog. She was so adorable at the shelter. Loving and happy and playful. Lots of energy. Maybe the perfect dog for us. A perfect dog to fit in with River at home.

After sitting with her at the shelter for a while and letting her get to know us some and us getting to know her a little. We were falling in love. Her spunk and personality was perfect. Her activity level and snuggliness was a good fit for us. And we loved her look. She was adorable and she reminded us so much of our old dog Brynn who has since passed over the Rainbow Bridge. Just no denying that this was part of the equation.

Look at all this yummy grass.

So, we brought this new puppy home. I was pretty sure things would be ok with introductions to our other two dogs, but you just never know. As things turned out introductions to our current dogs probably could not have gone better.

Willow has so much energy, but is also content to sleep in her kennel. She loves toys. Willow also loves to run and jump and spin around. She is fast agile and strong. She will run and jump onto anything. Willow is fearless and will try any maneuver at least once. Onto the coffee table. Across the couch and onto the computer stand and over to the other couch. As a small puppy that only weighs around 20lbs at this point she can leap up and over the arm of the couch and land safely on the furniture. And willow will explore anything.

Look at this fun stick I found.

One day she was sniffing around our deck investigating all there is. Then the next day she was running around the yard and ran straight for the deck and just dove right under the deck. The deck is not high off the ground. There is not mush space between the bottom of the deck and the ground. I don’t know how she knew she would be able to fit and get under there. She had not tried to go under the deck before. But she slipped right under the deck all in one motion without getting stuck or anything. Totally taking me by surprise. I think she was having too much fun under there. She was in no hurry to make her way back to the one spot where she could fit back out despite my calling. But I could hear her scrabbling around under the deck getting into who knows what kind of trouble. Then eventually she made her way back out into the yard. Needless to say this small space is now blocked off to hopefully keep her from doing that again.

The dogs are getting along so well. Colton is not quite sure what to make of this tiny little creature. He literally towers over her. But he typically doesn’t like to play as much. Especially not take an active role in the play time activities. But even Colton has been falling under the spell of this adorable force of nature that is River. And Colton at times has been more active and engaging in play with Willow more than he ever has before.

Colton is like, “Why is this little dog walking up to me?”

If we had any doubts about how things would go between the dogs it was with River. River is very high energy and very demanding. And she wants everything done her way. No substitutions. Would she be able to handle the random energy of a puppy doing whatever they wanted?

Turns out the answer is yes. I think River is growing increasingly fond of Willow day by day. At first she seemed to be just about indifferent to her. But each day they spend more time together. They play more. They even share more. River doesn’t always like to share her toys but she pretty much lets Willow play with anything she wants. She even lets Willow take the toys away from her.

River will sometimes get a toy and basically taunt Willow with it. She will walk around and wave the toy in Willow’s face until she gives in and decides to play. Then when River has had enough she will let Willow take the toy from her.

This is the closest thing to getting River and Willow together in a photo outside because they never stop moving in opposite directions, especially River.

Willow and River also get the zoomies together now. They take turns running around. Chasing each other. Up and down the hallway over and over. Complete playful activity. They also like to wrestle with each other. They will jump up on to the bed together and pile on one another. Swinging their bodies around pushing and shoving. Climbing on and over each other. Doing all the dog things you can imagine. And it all happens in a blur. So fast and so much motion. They do not sit still when they play together.

They don’t play as much together outside, but I am hoping that will change. Most of the time River just wants to play with her Frisbee and other toys. And willow is too busy exploring and being distracted by literally everything. A flower, a bee, a stick, tree bark, grass, a toy. Oh wait there are other dogs here too.

What I am most surprised by is that River will actually let Willow play with her most prized possession, her rubber Kong Frisbee. River has been so good about accommodating Willow into her life. Letting the puppy do what puppies do without giving her completely free rain to do whatever she wants. River is helping to teach Willow some better manners that will hopefully pay off in the long term. River still has her moments with Willow but overall with how active they have been together it is hard to believe it is going so well actually.

See me in a few weeks for all the disaster details…..

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