Today I’d like to tell you about my first meeting with Sandy. I expect you’ll remember that he is the friend I was comparing notes with on the most efficient way to follow a trail, while our bipeds enjoyed chatting about unimportant things together.
Sandy had moved in next door about a week or so previously and I had heard our bipeds discussing how we should meet. Sandy was a bit nervous of meeting new people and dogs, so our bipeds wanted to handle our first meeting carefully. First impressions are just as important for dogs as for bipeds.
The appointed morning arrived and we received the phone call to say that Sandy and his biped were on their way to the playing field. My biped finished getting ready and we followed a few minutes later. When we arrived at the playing field, we could see Sandy and his biped walking about at the far end, as agreed.
Sandy is a Sheltie (Shetland Sheepdog). I couldn’t find a picture of Sandy, but my blogging buddy Dakota has kindly allowed me to use one of him instead. He looks quite a lot like Sandy! (Make sure to pop over and meet Dakota if you don’t already know him!)
I would have been very pleased to welcome Sandy into my garden, but the bipeds had agreed that it was best to meet somewhere neutral. We had the playing field to ourselves, just as my bipeds had said would probably be the case during the week.
We went across to the edge of the field and started strolling in Sandy’s direction. Sandy and his biped walked up the opposite side of the field. We didn’t take any notice of him and he seemed fairly relaxed.
We wandered around, gradually getting a little closer to each other for what seemed like ages! Then Sandy’s biped asked us to stay still and she would see if Sandy wanted to come and meet us. Sandy and I both stayed on our leads because Sandy was less nervous that way. Some dogs are happier if they are loose. I’m happy either way.
Sandy slowly approached until he was about five feet away from us and then he stood still. We pretended not to notice him. After a while his biped said that she was sorry he was being so slow. My biped replied that it was okay and that things had to proceed at his pace as he was the nervous one.
We waited a few more minutes. Sandy’s biped walked around us with Sandy, but he didn’t want to come any closer. The bipeds agreed that we would try again another day. I could see that Sandy wanted to be friends but had probably never met a Pyrenean Mountain Dog before, so I decided to try something that I usually only do for puppies and tiny dogs. I got into the “down” position to show that I meant him no harm.
Sandy immediately looked more relaxed and it only took him a moment to decide to come and sniff me. I stayed quite still – I didn’t want to startle him! I let him have a good sniff and then I got up very slowly. He didn’t run away, he stayed close and we both continued sniffing for a few minutes.
When Sandy decided he’d sniffed enough, the bipeds agreed to all walk back home together. The bipeds walked between us, but Sandy was fairly relaxed now. The next time we met he came up to greet me straightaway and we soon became good friends.
I can’t help thinking that if Elizabeth Bennet and Mr. Darcy had been as careful about first impressions as Sandy and I were then they would have saved themselves some heartache! On the other paw, “Pride and Prejudice” would have been a very short book!
See you next Wednesday!