Trust takes time. A few successful encounters over time lay the foundation for friendship and trust to grow. So my plan is to gradually introduce the pups to the big dogs, and to the stock in situations where they can be successful, and avoid too much negative interaction.
The pups were more than ready for today's lesson, and they told me all about it. Tella is a card carrying drama queen.
I took her out first, on a leash, and walked the boundaries of the paddock. She is surprisingly good on the leash, considering how wild she wants to be and how much extra energy is stored in that fluffy little body.
She and Judah are warming up to each other - he shows his teeth and snaps when she gets too boisterous, but also drops to the play posture to encourage her to come close. I really need these two to get along eventually.
While Tella and I were making the rounds, I noticed something interesting - Ruth had wandered over to the puppy pen to keep Vanni company. She really seems to have taken to him. Perfect! The right pairings are forming even now.
Oh, she politely sniffed Tella over a bit,
But Vanni is her favorite, hands down.
She even got that frisky look in her eye and romped with him like a puppy herself - her plume of a tail flying, ears perked, eyes riveted, skipping like she had four good legs... That was fun.
And a couple of encouraging sightings: this morning I was throwing hay for the sheep and I looked over toward the puppies... Tella was licking Phoebe's little Shetland face through the fence. So cute I almost melted. That sheep really loves the dogs, and Tella responded perfectly.
We've also observed Vanni watching and mimicking Judah. That's what he wants to be when he grows up. Makes your heart swell with joy.
Now, if I could just get Phineas on board with the program...