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A second cairn is coming...


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I have just received confirmation of such good news! We have been approved as the "forever home" for a rescue cairn, and we can hardly contain our excitement!

Maybe a few of you will remember that I wrote last fall about plans for a new puppy: one who had been born with a cleft palate, but whose owner had decided not to immediately put the dog down. His name was Chance. His owner breeds and shows dogs, and we had been in touch about a possible puppy. We fell in love with him, and planned to adopt him after his repair surgery. However, he had another possible congenital problem and his owner decided to keep him. We were so sad. Here we never had the dog, and we were grieving for him.

So we decided to wait a while and think about it. This winter we decided it might be better to look for a rescue cairn, a male who would get along with our female Allie, who thinks she runs the world. I started checking the rescue sites off and on and then -- there was this gorgeous wheaten face! And a story about a cairn with "terrier-tude" who also liked hugs, other dogs, etc. We applied to be his family.

And this morning we learned we are. We'll be picking him up (it's an overnight trip to get there and back) in a week and a half.

After this long story, here is my question: for those of you who have more than one dog, how did you go about introducing the second dog into your household? How did you make sure that everything was the best possible so that they would like each other and get along? How do you make sure the new dog feels secure, and yet keep the formerly "only dog" keep from getting her nose out of joint?

I'll be taking "T" -- that's his name -- to obedience pretty quickly. We've got a great trainer here in Minnesota, and it's always been fun to go to her classes. Maybe this little fellow will show some aptitude for earth dog or agility. If not, at least he'll know how to walk nicely on a leash!

Advice, please! I need your help!

Kathryn in Minneapolis

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Congrats on your new pup!!! I think it's awesome that you have the heart to adopt one of these awesome doggies :) I wish we could, but my daughter is too young, yet. I think the best advice we received when getting Gracie was to have them meet in a nuetral setting. Like, out on a walk or just outside of your house/yard. I would make sure your "first" doggie still gets to do everything first. Fed, let out, scritched, etc. I am sure it is different than just adding another puppy, though...so some of the others who have adopted will probably have better advice. Good luck! And, again, CONGRATULATIONS :)



We're the Cairns of America

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Hi! Congratulations on the new addition to your family! We adopted our rescue, Belle, almost 2 years ago (she was 3 years old at the time) when Petey was about 9 months old. We were in close contact with the placement coordinators, and they had a lot of input as to which potential dogs would fit into our situation. We also had an overnight trip to pick her up (she was fostered one state away). We met Belle and her foster mom the next morning at a park that was dog-friendly. The dogs met on leash of course, sniffed, and Belle basically ignored Petey from the start (she still does unless she wants to play or he has a toy she wants).

On the ride home we thought they were doing so well, that we tried both in the back seat after a couple of hours, but that didn't work out so well. They still didn't know each other well enough to be in such close proximity. So we learned that lesson quickly....

She has integrated into our family very well, although has some issues with strangers coming into our home, which we are still working on and can usually manage with advance warning. Petey is still the only one that sleeps in our bed; Belle sleeps in her crate in our room. Their personalities are very different, but they get along very well. She has been a great playmate for Petey, and we have no regrets at all.

My advice would be to meet in a neutral location, allow them their own space (use baby gates if needed in the house), be sure to feed them separately, and give it time. I'm betting they become loyal companions in no time. Good luck!

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Congrats on adopting a rescue Cairn! You have been given great advice, but wanted to wish you good luck in your adventure. We added a puppy, as our second Cairn, so our experience is different than yours. Giving individual attention to each dog will help and be prepared to have two dogs in your lap, instead of one! I've learned how to secure two dogs on my lap, scratch each of their "behinds", and watch tv at the same time!

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I just remembered something else we did, and you still have time to do this too. I sent foster mom an article of clothing (old t-shirt) that had all our scents on it (DH wore it, I put it under my pillow, and Petey crawled all over it....the things we do for our dogs!). Foster mom put it in Belle's crate for a few days before we picked her up. I also sent her a toy that she was able to bring home with her. If you can get the foster family to do the same with the new dog and send it to you for Allie, this may help too.

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Congratulations on your new addition to the family. I really can't provide any good advice...when we got Lily (she was 1yr) and the circumstances could have not been worse regarding introducing her to Grace (she 2 yrs and our only "child") and her new home. BUT I can say this...it worked itself out in the end. Lily's a little sweet pea and she taught Grace to relax and act like a dog. Grace is a much happier dog now and they enjoy each other's company. I can't imagine our house without Lily!

Having two dogs is great...there is always somebody that wants to snuggle, I don't feel as bad when we go to work because I know they have each other, and when we are tired of playing they will wrestle and entertain each other. I'm like Shoe, I have trained myself to drink my coffee, read my paper and have two (23lb) girls on my lap--it's my favorite time of the day! Best of Luck!!!!!

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