Sadie and Wally first met when we went on a hike with his foster parents (Sadie’s Aunt and Uncle). We made sure he was calm and sitting then slowly brought her down to him. They both eyed each other. He sniffed her. Sadie grabbed at Wally’s nose (she has some sharp claws!) and his first instinct was to lick her which was a good sign.
The first time Wally came to our apartment, we let him sniff every room – especially Sadie’s room. He got so excited from smelling her room he threw up. After that, we chose to gate off her room and her bathroom so she could have a space that was hers. The four main things she does in her space are bathe, eat, sleep, and get changed.
I feed Sadie in her room because she is very easily distracted. The first time I left Wally to feed Sadie, he was very nervous, whined the whole time and pooped on the floor. For the first couple of days after that, I took Wally out before every feeding so he wouldn’t feel the need to go in the house. If he whined, I’d shush from inside her room and say “It’s ok Wally.” After a few days, he became comfortable enough to play on his own or sit quietly while she ate. I also always repeat “I’m going to feed the baby now” when I take her into her room to eat and when we come out if Wally is quietly laying down waiting outside the gate, I pet him and tell him he’s a good boy.
Now that Wally’s become accustomed to our routine, he is much calmer. I definitely recommend giving your new dog at least a week or two before you judge whether it’s going to be too overwhelming. I will admit Wally was so high energy the first day because everything was so new and exciting that I seriously questioned whether I could last another day taking care of him and Sadie. Since I already had a pretty consistent schedule established for Sadie, it was easy for Wally to quickly understand what happens each day and how he fit in. I strongly recommend having a schedule.
Our current schedule looks something like this:
7:00 Sadie wakes up (Wally stays in bed)
7:30 Sadie eats
8:00 Wally gets taken out and fed
9:00 Sadie and Wally nap
11:00 Sadie wakes up and Wally gets taken out to the dog park (he poops)
11:30 Sadie eats
12:00 Sadie and Mom run errands (Wally goes in his crate)
1:00 Sadie naps and Mom plays with Wally
3:00 Sadie wakes up
3:30 Sadie eats
5:00 Sadie and Wally get taken for a walk (he poops)
6:00 Sadie either naps or continues to play (depending on how long her earlier naps were)
7:00 Wally eats
7:30 Sadie eats
8:00 Sadie takes a bath
8:15 Sadie reads books
8:30 Sadie goes to bed
11:00 Wally gets taken out (he poops)