We got back from Derby with Zeus around 4pm. He slept in the back of the car next to me all the way home, bless him. He was smelly and tiny and shivering when we got out of the car. I had attached an extendable lead to his collar so that we could do the meet and greet with Flake outside the house. We had discussed this as being the best option, so that she would see and smell him outside “her domain”. That’s when we discovered how very bouncy he was, as did Flake!
After a few minutes – bearing in mind it was cold and raining – we let Flake lead the way indoors. It was pretty nerve-wracking to be honest, as we hadn’t anticipated that Flake might not like him! Talk about naive… I was fooling myself into thinking that her “natural maternal instincts” would instantly kick in and she’d want to mother him. Boy did I get that one wrong!
We realised pretty quickly that from her body language, Flake was in shock and pretty much less than impressed. So, they’d have to be separated for a while. Fortunately for us, we have an African Grey Conure parrot called Gizmo, who’s 10. As we’ve moved a few times since she was a baby, we had a parrot’s travel cage – much the same size as a small dog crate – so we popped his new fleecy bed/mat in there and put Zeus in a safe place. Nick put the crate on the dining chair next to him so he could see and be seen, and more importantly, Flake (supervised), could also sniff him under the dining table.
That then freed me up to make dinner for us and to calm my fraying nerves! We started the hunt for a Puppy Play Pen to give Zeus a safe place to spend time downstairs and protect him from his big Staffy sister. After all, Flake is a big, strong, boisterous girl and he’s tiny! Zeus spent time with Nick on the sofa that evening and we took him up to bed with us that first night.
We’d put a protective covering on our bed and he laid between us on his mat. He slept through the night, although I did wake up at about 4am with him on top of my head on the pillow! I felt like cruella de Vil wearing a puppy hat… 😉 I placed him gently back on his mat and went back to sleep.
Day 1 – all survived safely and the journey has begun!