January 17th, 2018
Since Friday, Bailey has been part of a dog trio consisting of Cas, herself and newcomer, Maya. My walking partner found herself looking after Maya for five days when her family had to unexpectedly leave town. Maya, a husky-cross like Cas, livened up our daily walks. Cas was a bit blasé about this new gal as he regularly walked with her during the non-winter months. She was staying at his house which had allowed him to get reacquainted with her again. Bailey had never seen Maya but, was certainly eager to make her acquaintance. You never know how someone else’s dog is going to receive your enthusiastic, overbearing Newf. Maya quickly showed that she could hold her own with the “big girl”.
Bailey’s first approach elicited a low growl from Maya. At six years of age, she was not going to tolerate any shenanigans from these young pups. Cas had already tried and given up when he was growled at by her. Bailey was only slightly deterred by Maya’s lack of invitation to sniff her. I decided it was best to keep Bailey behind the other two dogs as they were tethered together by a splitter lead. I soon realized that Maya lifted her leg to pee like Cas. Bailey was oblivious to the potential danger of being hit by a yellow stream. We kept our distance by walking a few paces back of them. Dogs that have husky in them have stamina to walk quickly and go for long distances. Newfoundland dogs have bursts of energy but, seem quite content to waddle leisurely most of the time. With Maya in front of her, Bailey was enticed to pick-up her pace. As a result, I had to speed up as well. Maya’s upward pointing tail exposing all of her privates to my gal was like a carrot to a stubborn, hungry mule. I was amazed how fast Bailey was moving to catch up with the other two dogs. For Bailey, all of the usual distractions paled in comparison to this newcomer. Even a nibble by Cas on her floppy ears did not distract Bailey from honing in on Maya. She was watching this older gal closely. A few times, Bailey caught up to Maya and walked side by side with her. Soon, the two females were urging one another on as each of them tried to move ahead of the other. This scenario played out the same way for the first couple of days.
On the weekend, my husband took Bailey out for the afternoon hike on the trail where the dogs get coveted, off-leash time. Maya was getting more comfortable with Bailey and allowed a few sniffs. Bailey wanted more, of course, and my husband had to prevent Bailey from badgering poor Maya. Eventually, Bailey focused her attention on Cas and they resumed their usual rough and tumble playing. Maya looked bewildered by their antics in the snow as she stood patiently beside my friend. Another day went by and Maya was beginning to warm up towards Bailey. My husband observed just the slightest wag of Maya’s tail as Baily approached with her usual, seemingly endless enthusiasm. The old girl was finally starting to warm up to her big, black furry pest. The pack of two had managed to adapt and Cas, oblivious to the fact that two older girls were competing for his affection, was left wondering what all the fuss had been about.