Last week I said that I had some big news, and finally I can share it: our family has grown by one. Meet Fiona!
Formerly known as Paisley, this little lady was recently returned to Marion when her owner could no longer keep her. Fiona is exactly one year and one month younger than Wally and at the moment is about 1.5 years old. Her destiny is to be Wally’s lady friend and the foundation bitch of my kennel, Audacious Border Terriers. No pressure, Fiona! :) Currently she’s unfinished but I plan to start showing her next year.
As you may have guessed, this little girl loves her food. Unlike Wally, who is the only BT on the planet who is apathetic about food, Fiona will happily vacuum the floor with her face and steal food off the coffee table. This will take some getting used to, and we’re already working on “leave it” to try to minimize food stealing. While she is potty trained, crate trained, and has a basic understanding of polite behavior, she has essentially zero training so I’m starting from scratch. Right now she’s learning about clickers and shaping with 101 Things to Do With a Box. So far it hasn’t “clicked” (har har) but I think she’s going to have a lightbulb moment soon.
And how is she getting on with rest of the family? So far, extremely well! She and Wally have been getting along swimmingly since they met at Marion’s last week, with no rough patches to speak of. Fiona came from a household with five or so dogs, so she’s quite used to being one of many. Wally, while used to being the only child, is unflappable as usual and taking it all in stride. I’m careful to give them both plenty of attention and sometimes I’m the jealous one when they run off to play with each other instead of me! She even gets along with Quincy the cat, which is pretty amazing since he’s the first cat she’s ever met. It helps that Quincy is a badass and won’t take any guff from a silly ol’ dog. Really I spend more time making sure that he’s not harassing her.
Overall she’s been a really pleasant addition to the family and I think that she’ll settle in to be a great companion for all of us. It’s been interesting to bring an adult dog into the family, and it’s kind of like having a kid who is extremely tall for their age: you sometimes forget that they aren’t as mature as they look.
My impressions of Fiona have been that she doesn’t really know how to play with people or toys (which were probably kept to a minimum to discourage fighting), and she is very friendly but hasn’t really connected with any of us yet. Granted that type of bond takes time and effort, something I did with Wally as a puppy and a process that took months, if not years. Now I’ll be doing the same things with her, building that bond, and helping her flourish and blossom into a dynamic young lady. It will be interesting!