Petey is doing really well with his training and learning everything he needs to know to pass the Pet Partner therapy dog test.
He can sit and down and stay. He can walk nicely on a loose leash and he just loves being handled and cuddled.
He loves sitting in my lap and watching the world go by.
But I don’t have large dogs around. All of Benny’s friends are small and I was not sure how Petey would respond to larger dogs.
So we made a date to meet one of our friends who has a Newfoundland puppy. Atlas is just over a year and very big. And very sweet and gentle. But very big! Petey is the size of one of his paws.
Atlas has had several surgeries in his short life and is now recovering enough to walk and play a bit. So we thought this meeting would benefit both dogs.
We met at Tivoli Village, a wonderfully dog friendly place to meet.
We got there first and sat on a bench within eyesight of where they would appear. Petey loved all the attention he was attracting. Lots of people wanted to meet this very tiny dog with the huge eyes.
Then I saw Lindsay and Atlas coming our way. I picked up Petey and put him on my lap to wait for them to get closer and I felt a low gurgle. Not a growl. Not a bark. Not a whine. But a very shallow gurgle, almost like a burp! It was the strangest sound. I now know this is his signal for discomfort. And he was giving Atlas a signal that he was nervous.
We did not have the dogs greet yet but started walking them side by side. Petey got comfortable and Atlas was just fine with this tiny dog walking next to him. Then we let them sniff and continued on our way. So many people were fascinated with this huge hundred plus pound dog walking next to a four pound dog. And they did appear to be friends.
We sat down at an outdoor café for coffee and Petey settled right in on my lap. What a good Down Stay!
Atlas found a cool spot and lay down on the floor. People continued to come over to meet the dogs and they could not have been better behaved.
While Petey was at first wary he very soon understood this big dog was no threat and the dogs spent a lovely afternoon together.
I will continue to introduce Petey to people and sounds and dogs and new experiences as part of his training and to ensure he has a secure, happy life.
Thank you Atlas for showing Petey that gentleness has no size and even a dog many times his size can be a friend.