Sunday, October 27, 2013

Peaceful Coexistence.

Dogs and cats live together all the time, some peacefully, some not.

Let's face it, when a new roommate moves in everyone has to adjust. Doesn't matter whether it's a two footer or a four footer, adding a new member to the mix is going to chance things. When Apple, a Chihuahua Boston Terrier mix moved in, everyone coped with change in their own way.

Jilly, my yellow lab, had to make room for another dog in her pack. She is a sweet, easy going dog who was used to her space and routine. She heaved some heavy sighs at first as Apple curled up on her bed, played with her toys, stole her treats and jumped for attention.

Terra, my mixed tabby cat, was not as patient. She didn't appreciate Apple's curiosity and energetic attention. To protect her and give her space, I closed doors and put up gates. After a few months, Terra wanted her freedom back to roam the house and told me so by jumping the gates, injuring herself in the process.

Apple, at 2 years, did not understand the ways of the world. When she came to live with all of us, she had some behavior issues and bad habits. She had some big things to learn and it took all of us working together to teach her how to be a better pup. You can read more about it here .

Jilly set her boundaries as pack leader. Now, she and Apple play chase, take walks and forage for plums together in the backyard. They sleep on their own beds and sometimes curl up together, too. The gates are down and Terra prowls the house whenever she wants, ignoring the still curious pup. Apple is calming down, getting used to the cat, the routine and her place in the mixed pack that is now her home.

It's taken six months but peaceful coexistence is here, hopefully, to stay.

No comments: