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Bailey - The Newest Addition to Our Family

Bailey
I've written plenty about our Dog Oscar and our two cats Casper and Gizzy (both no longer with us) so I thought it wouldn't be out of place to introduce my readers to our newest family member, Bailey (pictured).

Sorry the photos a little dark. I didn't have any pictures to hand so I just snapped a photo of him sitting at the opposite end of the couch as I write this. He's resting after a busy late morning walk in some fairly hot weather. Fortunately we kept to the shady trees in the park and had plenty of water to hand for both Bailey and Oscar - who came along.

Bailey is an English Golden Cocker Spaniel and a rescue dog. He's about six years old. At present we're only his foster family - as his previous family wanted him gone as soon as possible. I can understand why, because so far he's a bit of a handful. He really doesn't like being by himself and even gets a little concerned if you go into another room without him. Plus he's very hard to get settled at night.

However in the four days we've been looking after him he is showing signs of improvement. He's not pacing as much and will even settle down for a snooze on the couch on his own accord if I'm busy. He also doesn't immediately jump up to follow me if I stand up from sitting on the couch anymore. He'll at least stay where he is if I don't leave the room.

He's supposedly not house trained but in four days we've only had one 'accident' in the house which I put down to him not being trained how to ask to go outside. Something he hasn't needed to do because we have a special magnetically closing curtain mesh that keeps the flies out but lets both dogs go in and out as they please. Bailey was quick to learn how that worked.

If it's cold at night we shut the door. Oscar knows how to ask to go out but Bailey seems to just accept that the door is shut and he can't get out. He doesn't make any indication that he wants to get out. Hence he somehow, sneakily decided the spare room was the place to 'go'. Aside from that he's gone out every time and hasn't had any overnight accidents thus far.

Oscar and Molly
Oscar has been the most put out by Bailey. I thought Oscar would love having another dog around because he's very sociable with other dogs at the park. I've seen him off the leash down at our local park 'working the room' with eight to ten other dogs. Making sure he made an effort to play chasey (his favorite game) with all of them. Other owners actually commented on how sociable he was.

Turns out Oscar at the park is very different to Oscar at home. He's not bossy or aggressive to Bailey most of the time except when Bailey crosses a line - such as eating out of Oscar's food bowl or trying to get up onto Oscar's couch while Oscar is on it.

Oscar's biggest problem (along with ours) is that Bailey starts humping things when he gets excited (and yes Bailey has been 'fixed' in that department). We're slowly discouraging that behavior but Oscar is apparently an attractive little dog.

Oscar is also a very playful dog that likes to bark, run around and generally go crazy. Unfortunately that gets Bailey excited in all kinds of inappropriate ways and Oscar has to do what he can to take cover - usually hiding under something Bailey can't get under or disappearing into our bedroom where Bailey isn't allowed to go.

It's a very different story taking them both for a walk to the park though. Oscar will act a lot more like 'Park Oscar' and make genuine efforts to get Bailey to play chasey with him. However the park's all new to Bailey so Oscar isn't quite so interesting to him just yet whilst he's exploring.

Usually when Oscar comes home from a walk he plays chasey with me in the back garden. When we got home from Sunday night's walk, our first with the two dogs, Oscar managed to get Bailey to chase him in the fastest game of chasey I've seen him play in a while.

Oscar's quick but can't out run bigger dogs like Bailey. His advantage is he can turn much sharper and run under things much lower... and he knows it. He gave Bailey a good work out before retiring to relative safety to avoid being humped!

Bailey's other issue is Thunderstorms. As it happened I was writing this post and a thunderstorm passed overhead. I'd heard he didn't like storms but wasn't quite expecting him to totally freak out, run around and bark persistently at every clap of thunder. Strangely enough he wanted to be outside so he could run around and bark but I wasn't having any of that.

Bailey models his 'Thunder Shirt'
after the storm.
I put on his 'Thunder Shirt' and for half an hour, as the storm passed over, I did my best to get him to sit still and calm down. It kind of worked but occasionally I let him run around just so he could spend some time reacting as he wanted to.

I don't know what the Thunder shirt was supposed to do but maybe without it he would've been even more freaked out.

After the storm passed over I let him run around the backyard which seemed to help him wind down.

Personally I've never met a dog that spooked by a storm.

So to finish this post off, Oscar who was very sick yesterday and unable to hold down his food (I think he drank too much creek water the day before) was feeling much better today.

He spent his evening goading Bailey into games of chasey and making sure Bailey stayed away from any food he got given - as well a stealing a treat Bailey was given (which Bailey had buried in our hallway despite not being able to dig a hole or cover his treat up with dirt - he still went through the motions).

There's some hope that Oscar and Bailey will eventually get along. Certainly would be great if they can.

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