Here’s a terrific contest: FIDO Friendly wants advice about introducing cats and dogs. Just leave a comment and you could win a whole TON of stuff, including the publishing of your advice. Now, you have to respond in 150 words or less, but here’s the long version of my submission.

FIRST MEETING

Dog and CatMy husband, Tim, and I introduced two 3-month-old kittens to our Newfoundland and crazy hound in the evening, after all their crazies were run out. The cat carriers had been left with the dogs throughout the day so the cat scent wasn’t entirely new, and the cats were made comfortable in their own room.

When we made the big reveal, Tim and I cuddled each cat in our arms, keeping the kittens safely above the dogs’ eager noses. The dogs were asked to sit and a good sit was rewarded with a quick sniff of this new and exciting “treat.” The dogs learned quickly that too much excitement would remove the treat from reach.

Several minutes later, to establish that these were our cats, not the dogs’, we sat in the living room with exhausted, sleeping kittens in our laps and asked the dogs to lay at our feet. The calm was bliss… and that was the last we’ve seen of it.

SINCE THEN…

Dog and CatsAt first, these tiny cats were understandably leery of the enormous Newfoundland who wanted to love them. He’d take one step in their direction and they’d high-tail it to some small space he couldn’t fit his nose into. Oddly, the kittens took to the hound like he was their mother. He bathed them and rolled them around, tolerated playful swats and they followed him everywhere he went, behavior that continues to this day.

In a few short weeks, the cats and dogs learned to investigate every nook and cranny of the house together, dogs urging cats to knock crumbs from counters or tear into feed bags for a free-for-all lunch. Now, when that calm bliss comes over the house, I know somebody is in trouble – and it’s typically all four.

Or, sometimes, just sometimes, the quiet comes as cats curl into the fluff of warm Newfy fur and the Newf shares a rug with the hound, all sleeping (and snoring) peacefully together.

In moments like that I wonder, “Is there room in that peaceful pile for me?”

This video is so appropriate to the topic that I had to pull it from the archives and dust it off once more. I hope you enjoy…

httpv://www.youtube.com/watch?v=YptS_h2vZ8w