Add one partner drinking, one partner with anxiety fatigue, and mix in two high energy dogs meeting for the first time.
One thing that has been a little thorn in our relationship has been the fact that we both have dogs that we love to pieces. So whenever one of us sleeps over at the other’s house, it’s with the implicit knowledge that we will both have to be up at dawn so that the visiting partner can make it home in time to get breakfast ready and walk our little furry roommates. This, of course, ruins any sort of notion that we will ever get to sleep in or share a breakfast. So we knew time was coming that we’d need to introduce the dogs to each other and hopefully get to spend a whole weekend together.
Separately, the dogs have learned to trust each other’s new human. Step Doggie will let me take her for walks and flop on top of me for cuddles, or be my bed buddy if I take a nap. Little Dude has learned to take commands from Mr. Beale and will engage him for hours of games and puzzle solving. They are both big hams and milk all of the attention they can out of having two people baby over them. That should have been our first sign that this was not going to be easy.
The plan was for me to take Little Dude over to Mr. Beale’s house, since my apartment 1) Does not allow visitor dogs, and 2) has a strict policy against bully breeds in the building. Plus it’s much easier to carry a 6lb chihuahua in than a 70lb pit bull anywhere. So I packed up my little guy in his travel bag with his leash and food and went over. (Side note, one thing I totally forgot to do in preparation for all of this is to take my Adderall. You know, the thing that keeps me conscious because my brain thinks wakefulness is for suckers.) When I got there, Mr. Beale was already a little tipsy from drinking with his buddies earlier.
Now I know we made a million wrong steps in this endeavor, and that they should have met on leash on neutral ground and that we should have planned this out much more carefully. I know this, and yet I still ignored it, and that’s my fault and I take full responsibility. But given the poor actions of one drunk person and one brain fog addled person, things could have gone a lot worse.
We let Little Dude explore for a little while, while Step Doggie was in her crate. Then we let Little Dude rest in his travel bag while Step Doggie sniffed around. After several rounds of this, we decided it was time for a short introduction. They sniffed each other and walked around together, and everything seemed great! But then once they got too comfortable with each other, they’d both get real playful. And the thing about Step Doggie is that she’s a big clumsy goofball who does not get that she is not a tiny dog. So she was frequently bowling Little Dude over with her big paws, and causing him to shriek and get defensive and run to me for hiding. So then we had to retreat both of them back to their respective resting spaces.
This upset me very much, and even though I don’t remember any of it, was told I started yelling at Mr. Beale for not being in the right mindset to handle this. Then, as sometimes happens with sleep disorders and intense emotions, my brain just shut down for the night. It was 8:30pm. I ended up totally asleep for about 13 hours. Apparently, during those 13 hours Mr. Beale ordered food for us, carried me to bed, got me undressed, tucked me in, and took care of both of the dogs separately. He told me he had to revert back to letting only one of them out at a time, but that they were doing pretty well and calmed down a lot. I apologized for being an ass and thanked him for being the best boyfriend, and luckily both dogs were happy and unharmed.
Step Doggie totally started doing what jealous older children do by imitating Little Dude’s actions, because if the new puppy can’t do it, why can’t she? She doesn’t understand that her big butt does not fit on the back of the couch to peek out of the window like Little Dude. They are great when they’re calm, but the fact remains we have two high energy dogs that both demand to be the center of attention. We’ll try this again at some point, the proper way. Hopefully during better weather. I think they’ll be best buddies at some point, but we need to be better humans before trying this again.