The story of two Floridians and their foster Great Danes
The past month has been CRAZY busy, with holiday festivities, family being in town, etc etc. I’m disappointed that I haven’t been writing on Our Gentle Giants, but I’m going to be turning that around!
An update on Bubba: he’s doing well (did you see the post about his first day?)! He’s still with us and is a very happy boy. We had one home visit a week or two after getting him but unfortunately, it didn’t work out. Since then, we’ve been working on training him to be the best Dane that he can be.
He is getting along pretty well with the family and other animals. He generally does alright with cats, but our cat, Mia, is/was scared of and intimidated by him. She would mostly hide or sit in high-up places which made Bubba want to play even more. I think it was the sort of thing where he wanted what he couldn’t have.
We’ve been working on bringing peace and harmony to their relationship and we are happy to report that they are actually doing quite well! Bubba now respects her space but still wants to be friends.
To achieve this, we did a few things, like controlled interactions, distracting Bubba, and comforting both of them, but I think what helped the most is Mia’s confidence improving over time. When he first arrived, she would either hide or sit high up in her cat tower (Christian calls it her “penthouse”). She wouldn’t step foot on the ground unless he was out of the house or in another room and when she did get on the ground, she would very cautiously tip-toe to where she wanted to go. I would say she spent 85% of her time high up somewhere or in a drawer and 15% on the ground or out in the open. This is very strange because she normally isn’t a scaredy cat. She is usually a very confident kitty who doesn’t mind change or new people/animals.
Over time, she became more and more courageous. Now, she spends about a third of her time in her tower and the rest of the time exploring the house. She still is very cautious about her surroundings and will freeze when she sees Bubba around the corner, but she doesn’t puff up in fear and she doesn’t run away. I’m very proud of her.
There were a couple of moments where Mia’s and Bubba’s faces were a foot apart and they did great. Yes, they did stare at each other but there were no signs of fear or intimidation. After a few seconds, we would praise them and turn them away from each other. I think this, coupled with Mia’s increased confidence, has made Bubba less interested in her.
It’s kind of funny, actually. If she turns around the corner and Bubba is standing right there, she will dart back to where she came from. However, merely seconds later, she will tip-toe back to the same spot to see if he’s still there. I think her curiosity and her fear are playing one another.
Anyway, I’m very happy to say we are all living harmoniously. Bubba is a total sweetheart who wants nothing more than to love his humans and to be loved on.
(Psst: follow our Instagram page! @ourgentlegiants)