It has been five days since Bo joined our family and it has gone better than I could ever have expected. He has settled in well and feels like we have had him for a much longer time.
Isla is sitting at the table for meals with him lying in his bed next to her. She calls for him to go there and this makes her sit without trying to get up and take her food to the computer, leave the table or stand up and fidget while eating.
We talked about sleeping arrangements for a while before he arrived but I never thought she would allow him on her bed. She was never happy, when on the odd occasion, our small dog Mickey ventured on to her bed and she would scream to get him off. However Bo has slept happily at the end of her bed every night on his assigned Dora blanket! Isla has not got up once and only has called out a couple of times when she’s been cold or didn’t know what time she could get up which is incredible. Our nighttime bedside visiting from Bo with a sock or empty toilet roll (plenty of those to be found in our house) is becoming less frequent as he realises this is where he is meant to sleep. They are both early risers and are both still up before 6am but go downstairs together without disturbing us. Am slightly missing my morning cuddle from Isla in bed but this new found independence is amazing for her and is exciting for her future.
She enjoys getting his food ready and blowing the whistle and is learning to put it back in its place rather than just dropping on the floor.
Isla is still struggling to initiate play with Bo outside so think it will need to be built in to her afternoon routine and the rain hasn’t helped as neither of them want to get their feet wet! She does enjoy throwing the ball though and telling him to drop and bouncing on the trampoline with him. She enjoyed playing hide and seek with him with the whistle and her treat stick (and her carer Zali) and even made up her own game of tag with him. She enjoys playing with him but is always a constant struggle to remove her from the computer or toys and so far this hasn’t changed this.
We are still having a few tantrums with the tiredness of being back at school but Bo is taking it all in his stride and stays beside her throughout all the crying and screaming. Even though she seems disinterested in him most of the time (apart from meal and bed times) she is constantly aware of his presence and doesn’t want him to leave her and go out with me.
This week has been a big learning week for me in dog obedience and handling. Has been quite tiring but thoroughly enjoyable with Tracy from ADNZ. I feel so fortunate to have had this training with such an experienced dog trainer and all round lovely lady and I am feeling very supported.
Next week the equally amazing Julie, the CEO of ADNZ will be helping us incorporate Isla with my training and handling of Bo. This is when Tracy being tethered will be replaced by a real live Isla and we will navigate our way out in public. I am hoping Isla will respond as brilliantly as she has with everything else in the house and this will help strengthen the bond Isla has with Bo.
As well as keeping her safe she will be learning through repetition how to safely cross a road, go downstairs with care, walk calmly and consistently and I think having Bo there will just make everything a bit better and easier to handle when feeling overwhelmed. Will be interesting to see.
Bo himself is an amazing loveable dog. When out walking he is compliant, calm and consistent. When at home he is playful, cheeky and cuddly. A perfect match for Isla and our family.