Callie is a DINOS. Dog In Need Of Space. She is one of those dogs that doesn't always interact well with other dogs (especially outside of the home) and prefers to do her own thing by herself. After having just read that statement on a blog titled acd6pack, you might be thinking, "what?"
How is it that Callie lives with six other dogs and the occasional foster dog? Control. I've learned over the years what sets her off and know the little signs of her getting antsy which can lead to a snap or worse. It's just a matter of not allowing her to be in those particular situations. For example, when the rowdy ones (Forest, Brook, Azule and Breeze) are playing chase and wrestling, Callie is not allowed. She stays in the house or her crate since that type of play gets her very, very agitated and bossy. She would want to stop the chasing and wrestling. Typical stubborn and strong personality Australian Cattle Dog!
Callie is happiest being the only dog on an adventure. That being said though, she goes camping and backpacking with others. She does have her own tent (yes, there are two tents) and that really works for her. Callie doesn't miss out on any of the fun, she has fun by herself but she can and does share!
|Even though Hiker is blind, she loves to swim and follows Callie.|
Callie really enjoys playing frisbee and Jolly Ball which none of the others will play, we've tried many times. So, out go the group for their play time and when they come in, out goes Callie. Same thing when it comes to wandering the wilderness. It's just easier and less stressful for Callie to go on a walk/hike by herself. The worst thing on a hike is an off-leash dog with poor recall. So many times there has been a dog running towards us as the owner tries to call it back with no luck and then they yell the ever famous, "My dog is friendly!" To which I respond, "Mine is not friendly!" Let me tell ya, that gets ya a dirty look. A leashed dog walking past is almost no problem.
Our pack is often the pack and Callie. It works for us. There are people we know of who have two separate groups in their homes, groups who cannot even look at each other without attempting to fight. We don't have that. There is daily interaction between Callie and the others, in a calm/controlled situation.
There have been a few people who have asked if it wouldn't be easier to re-home Callie. Comments have also been made about how much Callie has changed things and shouldn't she adapt instead of being accommodated. Well, everyone is entitled to their opinion and my opinion is that when I adopted her (and the others), it was forever. I look at it this way - none of my dogs came looking for me, none of them asked to live with me - I chose them and promised to take care of them forever and I will.
It may seem obvious that a group of dogs will involve different personalities but living with that group and their little quirks, likes and dislikes can be a bit of a juggling act sometimes but it is most definitely, without a doubt, worth it!