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When we arrived home with Merlin and Angel on November 3, Wendy, not surprisingly, did her famous disappearing act. She wanted nothing to do with these two rough-housing puppies.
Once Angel left, Wendy ventured down to curl up in her spot beside me on the couch when no one else was in the house. So far Merlin couldn’t reach her there. I also quickly trained her to eat her meals in the same room where I was feeding Merlin.
I don’t exactly know when things changed between them, and I’m not even sure I realized they had before Thanksgiving Day. I had something of a tradition of sharing Thanksgiving with Barbara Harding. She had adopted one of the most challenging of the original fourteen Hovawarts I had rescued, and had come back to resc
ue me the Thanksgiving that my husband died. I wanted her current Hovawart, Beau, to get to know Merlin, and I certainly wanted Barbara’s input on the puppy and his training.
Beau and Merlin got along fine, and we enjoyed our meal and social time with Barbara. Then I decided it was time to add Wendy to the mix. I crawled under the bed, attached the leash and led my very frightened little girl downstairs where she cowered in a corner. Even though she was only a shivering little sixteen pounds of dog, Beau recognized her as an adult and decided to make sure she understood his dominance. He made a decisive lunge and growl. I screamed, and Wendy may have yelped, but Merlin was in motion. He made no approach toBeau, but he sprung into action to protect and comfort Wendy. Before we even knew what had happened Merlin stood completely over Wendy, one foot at each of the four corners of her body. He remained there gently chewing on her ears until her shaking subsided and she totally calmed.
We watched in amazement that this three month old puppy had bonded enough in just a few weeks to defend his “little” sister and that he knew exactly what to do to calm her in ways we hadn’t learned in a twelve months with her.