Husband's parents are staying with us for the week and they brought their new dog, Rex. They think he's a Texas Heeler, though only because of pictures they've seen (he's a rescue) . He pretty much looks just like the dog in the first picture if you follow the link, only black instead of brown. He is the sweetest dog ever! He's a year and a half and very playful. He gives kisses, loves belly rubs, and didn't meet a single one of Theo's toys that he didn't like. I'm considering never letting him leave.
I wasn't at home when they were first introduced, but I'm told that when they first met, outside our house and away from the yard, Theo reacted to Rex as he does most dogs. He sniffed and kissed and showed him his butt. But once Rex came in the house with us, he was a little perturbed. Understandably, he didn't understand why the intruder had followed him home. That's how he seemed to regard Rex for the most part, an intruder. When I came home, he was mostly ignoring him, except to growl at him when he came near the toy he was playing with. But I'm told they had quite the play session in the backyard before I got home, and I did see a lot of head jumping and ear biting after dinner.
Rex is so sweet tempered that he's kind of perfect for Theo. Theo starts off nice and playful, but he often lets things get out of hand. I noticed while they were playing that Theo's usual play-growling would turn into real growling, and he would start getting a little nasty, but Rex was all over it. When Theo got out of hand, he would just get out of his way and let him calm down a bit before he came back for more. Even though he's much bigger than Theo, he played very gently with him. He even let Theo tackle him to the ground and have his ears for an evening snack! And Rex was loving every minute of it. If we get a second dog (eventually), I'll definitely have to find a Rex.
Of course fetch got a little interesting. When Theo wants to play fetch, he wants to play with a specific toy. If he brings you a penguin, he wants you to throw the penguin. If you throw the tribble instead, he's just going to sit there and look at the penguin and then look at you as if to say "No, throw this one, you idiot!" Rex is not so picky. This is both a good and bad thing. It's good because I could get him to play with whatever I wanted. It's bad because when I would throw Theo's penguin, Rex would run after it as well, which would cause Theo to growl and Rex to be out of luck. I, in my infinite wisdom, devised a way that both dogs could play fetch without someone getting a bloody nose. I sat in the middle of the room. I had Rex give me a non-penguin toy and threw that in one direction. He went after it. Since it wasn't the penguin, Theo did not. Then I threw Theo's penguin the other direction, and since Rex was busy with another toy, Theo could fetch it in peace. When they both came back, I did the same thing again, and when I stuck to that order, the fetch session worked out quite nicely.
Meal times are also interesting. I wasn't there, but I hear there were some words spoken between the dogs during an attempted feeding. Husband should have known better, really. The only thing that gets Theo full on aggressive is food competition. So for dinner and breakfast this morning we made sure to feed them separately. So far so good. Though Rex eats painfully slow.
I'm looking forward to a whole week with a dog I can love on with no 2-foot rules!