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The Pet Store: Making buddies is tough to do | Weblog: The Pet Store

I’ve by no means thought-about myself a species-specific pet individual. I’ve had canine, cats, geese, chickens, a gerbil and even an iguana as pets. For full disclosure, I do draw the road at goats — lengthy story — and parrots and related birds — a number of longer tales.

The one factor I’ve by no means tried is to have a canine and a cat on the identical time. I’ve at all times turned to Invoice Murray’s line from “Ghostbusters” every time somebody informed me it was attainable. “… canine and cats residing collectively … mass hysteria!”

However I do know individuals who have been in a position to set up an environment of détente in a dog-cat family. Regardless of the occasional act of hostility, everybody adheres to no matter interspecies treaty or peace accords that had been established on the time of union.

I’ve just lately been making an attempt to develop Sophie the border collie’s circle of buddies, which is right down to only one nowadays. She wasn’t precisely a social butterfly earlier than the pandemic, and the previous couple of years have solely made it worse. So when a farm cat household determined to maneuver in at my dad and mom’ place I figured it was the right alternative to develop Sophie’s horizons.

Sophie, meet Mama C, Fuzzbutt and Spaz.

Mama C is the matriarch, and she or he’s a pure hunter. I’d by no means seen a black-tipped weasel till she left one as an providing on the again door. She’s pleasant, however she’s additionally not afraid of something. She initially had 4 kittens, however nature occurred.

The 2 survivors had been Fuzzbutt, a really pleasant cat with fluffy, mottled fur that loves to sit down within the garden mower seat or strike a “Lion King” pose on the again stoop, and Spaz, a strong black velocity demon that freaks out and disappears on the slightest odd sound, actually a scaredy cat.

Thus far, Mama C and Fuzzbutt are the one two that present any curiosity, even when it’s a frosty one, towards Sophie. She, alternatively, has far an excessive amount of of the incorrect sort of curiosity in them.

A border collie is an incredible canine with an instinctual — and really intense — capacity to maneuver different animals, together with people. Basically, they go into stalking mode, and as soon as that swap is flipped on, it’s exhausting to show off. It’s not an issue if the abilities are developed starting at an early age, however there weren’t many farms situated in the midst of Winston-Salem for Sophie to hone her instincts as a pet. She’s now 4 years outdated, principally a youngster with a youngster’s angle. Getting {the teenager} to behave and ignore her intuition hasn’t been simple.

Introductions have been tense. Consider it as strolling right into a enterprise assembly not understanding in case you’re going to get a handshake or a punch to the face.

The cats have discovered their escape routes and hiding locations, and thankfully, they’re quicker than Sophie. What usually begins as a candy nose-to-nose whats up rapidly devolves right into a run-for-your-life goodbye.

Getting Sophie used to my dad and mom’ cows has been barely simpler. First, the cows are larger than she is, they usually comprehend it. Second, they’ve bodyguards — 4 donkeys that don’t mess with any sort of foolishness. As soon as the donkey alarm goes off, it’s time to go.

We’re beginning sluggish. I do know it’s going to take time, and it’s going to take some severe hours of labor. However ultimately, I feel it’ll be value it. A canine with buddies and a job is a happier canine. What extra might a canine dad need?

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