Roland has been home for a month and probably the biggest transformation has been his interaction with our dogs. From reading about other people's experiences, we knew that it probably would not go well. We were right. Roland was home with us for only one full day before we brought the dogs home from the kennel. Even though the three of us were getting along well, there probably was not a huge amount of trust yet. I sat on the couch with Roland while Matt brought in the dogs one at a time. Roland pretty much acted like we were planning to feed him to a pack of wolves. I do understand that our dogs are pretty intimidating to a 30- pound child who is not used to having animals inside the home. (Copper, our redbone coonhound, weighs 85 pounds and Yukon, our great pyrenees, is 120 pounds.) Roland just screamed his head off until we put the dogs in another room and then the screaming would start again whenever one of the dogs made eye contact with him. For the first couple of days we had to keep the dogs separate from Roland most of the time. He eventually became somewhat comfortable with looking at them from the other side of a baby gate.
Roland became comfortable around Yukon much quicker than with Copper. Yukon is larger, but he is much more quiet and gentle. Copper, a typical hound dog, likes to bark very loudly whenever he is excited. The soundtrack of our first week home together was barking mixed with equally loud screaming.
At first, Roland would only enjoy Yukon when he had the height advantage. Whenever he was on the floor with Yukon, he would start up with his screaming again. However, Yukon was always so gentle with him and his white fluffy fur is pretty irresistible, so Roland adjusted to him pretty quickly. After about a week, they became best buds and Roland spends a good part of his day rolling around on top of Yukon.
Roland's relationship with Copper has been trickier. All the barking in his face early on must have set a poor mood for their relationship. For most of the past month, Roland would try to set up Copper to get into trouble.Roland would tug on Copper too hard, Copper would give out a loud yelp, and then Roland would come running to us showing us his finger (pretending he had been bit) and pointing at Copper. He played out this charade many times, but to his disappointment, he was the one who got in trouble, not the dog. He would also give Copper a toy block, which Copper would proceed to chew up, and then Roland would come to us yelling, pointing at Copper. For those instances, they both got in trouble. Seriously, for the past month I felt like I was raising three little boys, two of which would bicker and tell on each other throughout the day.
The past several days there haven't been any big instances with Roland and Copper so I am hoping that phase is coming to a close. The house is definitely quieter and more relaxed as "the brothers" are becoming adjusted to each other.