Our schnauzer pup Tally is slowly getting oriented to being an “only child.” She had always had Tinker to keep her company, as well as other siblings before we adopted her just before her first birthday. Her 10th is a week away and we need a plan to celebrate. Since Tinker passed away a month and a half ago, Tally has spent 15 days with pet sitters, 2 days at the dog spa, and a week with her niece Falco as a playmate. We’re trying to keep her from being lonely, but you can tell that she misses Tinker, as do my wife and I. Falco is my wife’s oldest daughter’s new pup that is also a rescue. She’s fattened up a bit since we first met three months ago, after the trauma of a hurricane and giving birth. 

Falco and Tally love to run and frolic about the carpeted hallways outside of our apartment. It’s about the only real freedom they get, as our actual living space is restrictive of playful activity. They also get to run up and down the stairs before and after we take them outside. I like to use the back stairway that exits directly to the sidewalk, rather than the main way out into the lobby. With this preferable egress, before they can actually get outside, there are two doors that when closed form a small “airlock” that contains them while I put-on their flashing collars and raincoats. There’s also less chance of running into other dogs and the related commotion that often happens in the marble lobby. The third way out is the elevator to take them up and down, but it too empties into the lobby. We don’t use this option as much anymore without the need for Tinker’s stroller. It’s also more fun to watch the dogs navigate the stairs and better exercise for all of us. 

Falco is gradually getting oriented to visiting us regularly and playing with Tally. Soon, Tally will be spending reciprocal time at Falco’s house, and hopefully she’ll be more mature around the two cats that once lived with us. Tally loved to taunt Jimmy and Zelda, and never learned to befriend them like Tinker. We’re hoping that all of them will get along better, so we can take advantage of sharing pet-sitting responsibilities and costs. The first experiment will be in a few weeks when we go to Las Vegas. In the meantime, the trials and tribulation of pet orientation will continue.