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Ever since I decided to adopt my two new babies, the one worry I had was how they will bond with the babies I already have. The ones already at home have gone through several stages and different group dynamics till they settled on a pattern. The introduction of two new elements is liable to upset the status quo. This was a very big worry for me, and I have been consulting friends with several dogs on the best way to integrate the new with the old. I have even consulted my dogs’ trainer.
Once Prince and Queeny arrived, my whole concentration was in making them feel welcome, secure and at home with the place and the people. Their health was also an issue, and making sure that they are properly medicated, fed and familiar with their surroundings took the highest priority.
Being fearful of my original babies’ reaction to the newcomers, I thought I would keep them segregated for a while till they get used to smelling one another, then gradually introduce them one by one.
The first night my new babies slept out in the open. They did not sleep in their houses. Thank God that was a mild night. But last night, their second, was quite cold so after a bit of coaxing by the gardeners, they curled up in their houses and slept there.
Today is their third day here and I thought we should start them bonding with some of the dogs. So I told the gardeners to take Prince and Queeny for their walk along with Helen, Max and Millie. This went very well. Then I went for my own walk and on coming back found all the dogs in the front garden, milling about, sniffing one another and seven tails wagging.

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This was such a relief after all the worry about how they were going to react. Once I saw that they were all happy, I took them all in to the back garden as I was curious to see the reaction of Prince and Queeny to the garden and the pool.

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The moment they all got there, Millie threw herself in the pool with Queeny right behind her. Thank God it’s a sunny, mild day. I only managed to catch them after they left the pool dripping wet.

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Prince on the other hand was very cautious. Despite being invited in by Troy,

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then the rest attempted to persuade him to get in,

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yet he would only venture to dip his paws, but no further.

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Now the true adventure began. My original clan took the newcomers on a trip of discovery, showing them the different parts of the garden. After the introduction to the pool, they took them across the green area to the pergola where they all sniffed it to their satisfaction.

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Then they moved to the other side of the garden, to the pond, where Prince and Queeny stood taking in the view.

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After that they started bonding individually with one another, with Max,

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with Millie

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and with Troy.

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Finally all the dogs started bonding with one another and with the two gardeners.

Once we saw that all was going well, I asked the gardeners to pull in the houses of Prince and Queeny to the general pen area so that they can all sleep together. They did and then they took the whole clan, old and new, to show them around and re-introduce them to their houses.

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The new ones looked all over the place, including the built house, saw the bowl with the running water, saw their play pen full of sand and tails were wagging everywhere.

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It is such a relief to see them all getting on together well and hopefully that continues. The only two who have not been neutered yet are Max and Millie and they will be next month. This eliminates the problem of sexual tension, so all we have to contend with will be the individual character quirks of each.
My Christmas present is now complete. I just have to ensure that Prince puts on some weight and gets a bit stronger, while Queeny is doing very well, and is so happy and excited, she looks as though she will be leading the whole pack into a merry dance.
Thank you God for all these blessings. A truly love-filled Christmas.
22 December 2015

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