About four weeks ago, our household was turned on its ear by the arrival of Dash’s new housemate, the adorable, self-assured, and high-spirited Princess Sophie, a 12 week (and now 16 week) old West Highland White Terrier, also known as a Westie.
With my mom along for company, I drove to Binghamton to pick her up from her breeder. Dash, our 8 year old Weimaraner, was our rear-seat navigator. Sophie was a bit confused initially, but settled quickly into mom’s lap, and with Dash for her constant back-seat entertainment, we made the 4 hour drive home.
We’d prepared for her arrival: a new bed, crate, feeding bowls, food, gates for confining her in the kitchen, and an abundant supply of newspaper for her paper-training awaited her. Within the week, she was 90% successful in using the paper. Clearly, she’s brilliant.
Dash accepted little Sophie from their initial meeting. It was as if she was always meant to be here. He gave her his toys, exhibiting no jealousy or possessiveness of them. He shares his bed, and even surrenders his marrow bones to her when she wants to chew on them.
For Sophie, Dash appears to be her hero. She lays on his bed or near it and stares at him as if he’s a god. She follows him about the house, and howls when he goes out with my husband and she’s left indoors with me.
She even tries to get him to play with her. I thought, given the fact that the boy’s never played–not with Tess or any dog he knows–that Sophie would be disappointed, but she hasn’t given up yet, and much to my astonishment, Dash is trying to figure out how to play with her. Given the disparity in their sizes–he’s 96 pounds, she’s just approaching 9 pounds–and his inexperience, he requires oversight. He’s gentle, but unused to play, and tends to get carried away. I have great hopes that he’ll learn to play. It would be good for both of them.
Initially, Sophie objected to having her collar and lead put on to go outside. She hadn’t worn one at the breeder’s, and the experience was new. Also, it was a cold Spring a few weeks ago, and the new sounds of cars and trucks and the occasional motorcycle on neighboring roads frightened her. She got over it really quickly, and struts around the block on her leash, trailing behind or before Dash, never more than a few feet away from him. They even like to look out of the door together.
Sophie’s ears have changed from floppy to upright as they should, and in time, she’ll lose her needle-sharp puppy teeth in favor of her adult set of teeth.
About two weeks ago, I tripped in the gate that periodically contains Her Royal Highness in the kitchen for paper-training and jammed my right femur up into the hip socket. I’m not too spry at present, but Sophie has enough energy and determination for both of us.