Hunter and Prey: My Dog's First Day in a House Full of Cats

Raining Cats and Dogs!Raining Cats and Dogs!Our first full day as dog owners began with me believing there was no way this was going to work out. But it ended with me having a touch of hope.

Daisy (she still hasn't been renamed) has never been trained in her life. She hasn't even been taught how to sit or how to come (How little human interaction does it take to accomplish that lack of an accomplishment with a seven-year-old dog? It's mind boggling.) The only command that seemed to have any effect on her was the word "shut-up." Not really the word I would have chosen to get the intended result, but it got her to stop barking her first night.

She's also very much a German Shorthaired Pointer. She must come from some good blood lines, because when she jogs she prances and she points at everything. She also has her nose to the ground most of the time when she's outside. The dog was bred to hunt little animals, especially birds.

On our first walk around the neighborhood, I had Addie push Vivi in the stroller and I got pulled along by Daisy. That dog is powerful. I don't remember my German Shorthaired Pointers being so powerful, but they also understood the word "heel." When ducks flew across our path, it was all I could do to stay on my feet. Daisy was ready to go.

Related: 25 awkward family photos with pets

I'd never walked a dog in a residential neighborhood ever before,and I forgot the poop pick-up bags. So to the neighbor who was surprised by a pile of poop in his driveway, I'm sorry. I didn't have any bags, and I couldn't convince my 8-year-old and toddler to miss lunch in order to go back and clean up the poop. By the time lunch was over, it had already snowed a couple inches (in March), so . . .

Lesson learned.

None of that is really the reason the day didn't go so well. Daisy is a natural born hunter, and our cats look worthy of being hunted. When the dog was accidentally introduced to the cats, Wink ran off and hid under a bed and Percy ran towards Daisy and began clawing and biting. I pushed Percy away and yanked Daisy back outside. I then gathered the cats up and put them in the pantry where they had food, water, litter box, and cat stand. There they have stayed for the last day and a half, and they'll probably stay in there during the next few days.

We'll let them out at night while Daisy is in her crate, but letting them out with Daisy is a recipe for a dead animal and none of us want a dead animal.

Everyone has been telling us that the cats will eventually warm up to Daisy, and that Daisy's desire to hunt the cats can be re-trained. But with Daisy's lack of any training, I worry that it will take too long to train that instinct out of her.

There is hope, however, Daisy picked up the command "kennel" really fast. I think this dog is incredibly smart and that could go a long ways at getting her trained so all of us can co-habitate. Otherwise? Daisy will eventually have to go back to the shelter in Michigan.

By "They Call Me Cody"
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