Copper has conveniently perched himself on top of the sofa so he can watch the rabbits and stay away from the newcomer. I know he is thinking, "Not another one! When will this all end so I can have the house to myself?"
Illo spent a few hours in a kennel with Sweet Pea today. He was able to see all of the other dogs from afar and get used to the new sights and sounds around him. Before feeding time, each kennel was let out to play and they were able to meet Illo through the kennel fence. Klaus(Zulu freight Alaskan line) and Klaus' personal assistant Oken(Half Hedlund/Half Zulu line) showed a bit of concern over the new addition, hackles raised as they peered into the kennel to check out the newcomer. Illo turned his head to the side yet kept his eyes on the two boys while he uttered a low growl as if to say "I'm doing my best to avoid any issues with you guys so leave me alone". After allowing the dog body language to be displayed for a short period of time, I stepped in with a gruff "No!" as I clapped my hands to shoo Klaus and Oken from this kennel fence. Each time after when the boys came near, displaying only curious behavior, they were overwhelmingly praised.
Illo got his turn to come out and meet White Feather and Journey first. These two girls are omegas and were very interested in getting Illo to play as they poked him with their noses and backed away, play bow, chin lick and another nose poke. All Illo wanted to do was discover his new territory. When he settles in after a few days, I'm sure he will begin to play, I can see it just below the surface. He was then introduced to Topa, Wimzi and Tuloon. Topa quickly found her place below him. Wimzi, the puppy she is, got distracted shortly after making contact with him and bounded away. Tuloon on the other hand, made darn sure Illo knew she was the queen as she strutted around, peeing and scent marking with a lively little dance after scratching the ground as she trotted away. Dogs "shake hands" by sniffing each other. Tuloon would have none of that. It was just way too soon to be allowing some strange dog to shake her hand. "No thanks", she growled as she again marked, scratched, danced and went her merry way.
Illo ate all of his meal and he and Tuloon were the chosen ones to spend the evening in the house. Illo walked in as if he had always been here but it did take him a few attempts to make his way onto the sofa, as he tested our boundaries. "Do they mind if I do this? I'm not so sure so I'll just put one foot up, look around then walk away. I'll try two next and see what happens." Then he was making a fine nest in the sofa cover.
Earlier in the day, he had met the little house dogs through the fence and showed all positive signs of acceptance. We were very pleased. He was so calm and laid back in the house, we decided to let Blueberry out of his kennel to meet Illo face to face. When that went well, out Copper came. Illo focused on Blueberry as they appear to be similar in status while he ignored the obvious alpha of the pair which is the tiniest Copper. One false move from Illo and Copper gave him a stern growl and stiff posture, to which Illo would slink away.
As I type, Illo and Tuloon are patrolling for rabbits in the back yard and between shifts, Illo comes to the window with those big brown eyes, ears back and tail wagging. "Is it time to come back in?" So I'd better got let him in.
Illo just fits. He is so typical "Hedlund Husky" and it feels like he was meant to be here and always has been.