First Impressions

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!)

Dakota, Sheltie, smiling

Dakota, of Dakota’s Den

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!


  1. Ha ha ha – good thing Jane Austen didn’t know you Clowie 😀 Great advice, as always. Delighted you have a good friend in Sandy — well worth the slow and cautious approach.
    Animalcouriers recently posted…Lovely Lolli reaches her new home in the UK with SamMy Profile

    • It is a truth universally acknowledged that the world should not be deprived of “Pride and Prejudice”!

      Thank you, it was worth taking things slowly so that Sandy could be a pal.

  2. Oh Clowie – you always know just the right thing to do!

  3. You always know just what to do! ^_^
    hutchagoodlife recently posted…Long Long Ago – A Prehistoric Guinea Pig!My Profile

  4. well done :o) to be careful at the first “date” is always the best… that counts not only for dogs huh? i agree, jane austens masterpiece would be a short story and i have some doubts if it would win the second place at bbc read that way hahahaha
    easy rider recently posted…easyblog WOW-WEDNESDAYMy Profile

    • Yes, it pays to take that first meeting carefully.
      If you remove all the misunderstandings, it would be a three-word story – met and married! It wouldn’t be quite as entertaining, ha ha!

  5. A very good lesson on how to start out on the right foot (oops I mean paw) with meeting a new friend. Some things are better done slowly but surely!!

    Hugs, Sammy
    Sammy recently posted…Teaser Tell AllMy Profile

  6. Meeting new friends outside and walking together we find is the best way to meet too. You did a great job helping him feel welcome.
    Emma recently posted…Mirror, Mirror…My Profile

    • Thank you, Emma. I agree, walking together is great because you don’t feel pressured to take any notice of each other, until everyone is more relaxed.

  7. As I was reading I was so hoping it would go well and it did! I am happy you and Sandy are friends.. 🙂

  8. How do i tempt you to come and live near me so I could introduce you to Bd?!

  9. I think it’s so great that you all took the needed steps to meet properly. So many people just go for it and the dogs end up more fearful than before. Well done you!
    ღ husky hugz ღ frum our pack at Love is being owned by a husky!
    Jenna,Mark “HuskyCrazed” Drady recently posted…Can you say….random?My Profile

  10. This is a wonderful example of forming a good friendship in the best of ways, being sensitive to the other. And, my dear friend Clowie, for that you shine! There’s a really important lesson here for me with my fur-balls but also for myself, that once you put it out there, you can’t take it back, and first impressions so often are the strongest to remove. It’s a wonderful trait in canine or human to be help make a new friend feel comfortable/safe. Bravo! <3
    Paulette Mahurin recently posted…Soulful and compassionate, love against all odds.My Profile

    • Thank you. It can be difficult to be patient when you just want to be friends, but I know my size makes many people and dogs nervous so I need to be patient. It is really hard to shake off a bad first impression.

  11. First, thank you for asking me to act as the “Sheltie Representative” in this post and for the shout out!
    Mom and I would like to compliment ALL of the bipeds involved in the introductions.
    Being a rather skittish, nervous, hesitant Sheltie myself (Mom once learned that Shelties that are “TRUE” to their lineage are actually this way, it is how we are) it is wonderful that you took the introduction slowly.
    I am one that doesn’t enjoy meeting new woofies…especially if they are “pushed” on me by bipeds that aren’t sensitive. All of the bipeds in this post are quite sensitive and speaking for Shelties, we appreciate that.
    Shelties are a discerning breed (often aloof and cat -like, but fiercely protective and extremely devoted and loving to their owners). We are often misunderstood.
    I am glad to see that you have taken the time to understand us!
    Barks and licks and love, Dakota
    Caren Gittleman recently posted…Sensitivity:Wordless WednesdayMy Profile

    • Thank you for the use of your photograph.
      I will pass your compliments to the bipeds – thank you. I think the bipeds did get us off to a good start. I have discovered that my size makes many people and dogs a little nervous, so things generally work out better if I’m quiet and patient.
      Great Pyrenees, also, are often described as being part cat – mostly because we have minds of our own! We’re also very protective, so we have a few things in common with Shelties.

  12. What a great way to become friends with Sandy..sadly my boys are not really into other doggies…from many occasions where the bipeds thought their dog rushing at them as pups and rolling them was ‘fun’ has made them super wary…not all bipeds are smart or understand doggie manners Clowie so glad yours do 🙂 loves Fozziemum xxx
    Bev Green recently posted…Wild on Wednesday rewindMy Profile

  13. A neighbour of ours has a sheltie and it is true they are nervous of new people and dogs! But once you get to know them they are very cheery companions (or so I’m told!!)
    Austin Towers recently posted…NUCAT?My Profile

  14. I agree with you about first impressions- they make a lasting impression indeed!
    RumpyDog! recently posted…Diary of a Dysfunctional Pet FamilyMy Profile

  15. Clowie you really do have good manners! How could Sandy resist being your friend 🙂
    Teresa (The Dogvine) recently posted…Love Your Pet Day – February 20thMy Profile

  16. You are a very smart dog, Clowie. Not all dogs, or people, would be so patient and understanding. That is a wonderful way to make a new friend.
    Jan K recently posted…Black & White Sunday – Ready to RaceMy Profile

  17. I bet Sandy is sure glad to have a friend like you.
    Misaki recently posted…Do you have accent?My Profile

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