Patchy’s Settling In

Well, Patchy is now home and she is part of the family. Frank and I think she’s as sweet as clover honey, Adler is less enamoured.

Adler is expressing his deepest feelings to Patchy

Adler is expressing his deepest, most sincere feelings, towards Patchy

Halloween Cat

Halloween Cat

He actually did that Halloween Cat thing where he arched his back, sort of twisted sideways, arranged every individual hair to stand straight up and looked a lot like this.

But meaner.

And with stripes.

I’d have been terrified. Patchy thought maybe it was a new game involving chasing and tumbling and it was going to be ever so much fun. Oh dear.

But they both survived the first night (mainly because we kept them in separate rooms). By the next day (separate rooms) even Adler started getting bored with his posturing.

We’re still in the hissing phase of the relationship, but progress is being made – friendship is just around the corner – if you’re an optimist with a glacier for a watch. I’ve heard this one a million times and I’m now desperate enough to pin my hopes on the veracity of a platitude; opposites attract, don’t they?

Then there’s the chickens. They didn’t totally freak out like they did with Adler, but they’re starting to think they should. Initially they just watched Patchy, but when she began to take more of an interest – as in dragging me by the leash into the chicken wire – they thought maybe they should hate her. It was, no doubt, all a simple misunderstanding. I’m sure Patchy was just looking for playmates, not a meal supplement.

Alert, but not alarmed

Alert, but not alarmed

Patchy is a healthy, energetic young dog with loads of curiosity and enthusiasm. She’s a bit thin (could that be what worries the chickens and cat?) and a lot undisciplined – 2 things we’re working on. But she needs no lessons in how to be affectionate.

Patchy really wants to be a lap dog

Patchy really wants to be a lap dog

Patchy and her new BFF

Patchy and her new BFF

I think she’s pretty happy here and that’s the first and most important priority. Everything else will come with time.

First night in a new home

First night in a new home


About Laura Rittenhouse

I'm an American-Australian author, gardener and traveller. Go to my writing website: for more. If you're trying to find my gardening blog, it's here.
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15 Responses to Patchy’s Settling In

  1. karen says:

    In the photo with you, did you notice that she’s smiling?

  2. How great! In time all the animals will settle into the new normal and it will be like you all were always together. πŸ™‚

  3. She will change your life, not all at once, but over time; but maybe you knew that and that is why you did it.

    • That is a big part of why. I think companion animals are really good for humans – we evolved sharing our lives with them and I’m looking forward to my new life with her (and Adler our new cat)

  4. I love when large dogs try and sit on your lap! I’m sure Patchy will soon get the idea that they are your chickens and thus by proxy his concern and do his bit by guarding them.

    • Yep – size DOES matter when it comes to lap sitting πŸ™‚

      I’m really hoping Patchy protects my flock and they can free range with her keeping an eye and ear out for predators. I know that’s asking a lot, but she wouldn’t be the first chicken guard dog.

  5. She looks like fun. Splodge (my cat) says tell Adler to move in slow motion and avoid eye contact with Patchy for a little while.

    • I’ll pass on Splodge’s advice. Adler right now has 3 modes – attack (Patchy is totally baffled by that one) run away (Patchy loves that until she reaches the end of her leash and chase ends up being choke) and stay away (I feel sorry for him when he does this). If Splodge has managed it, surely Adler can!

  6. vuchickens says:

    I’m so glad she’s enjoying her new home! Luckily she is young, so hopefully she will learn quickly to leave the cat and chickens in peace… and protect the chooks! πŸ™‚

    • I don’t know about leaving them in peace – she LOVES them. The real question is will the cat leave her in peace (he stalks her meaning no good will!) and if she will learn that chooks don’t like to play with dogs. Fingers crossed.

  7. sounds like a whole learning curve, and hopefully it wont be long until all your animals are one big happy family

    • We’re all on a big learning curve – Frank and I on how to manage a menagerie, Patchy on basic obedience, Adler on making friends and the chooks on tolerating others. In the end I’m sure we’ll get there!

  8. Pingback: Watch out for those BEES!!! | Laura Rittenhouse's Gardening Journal

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