Introducing a New Puppy to an Older Dog

Passing the Chew Toy, as it Were

“Happiness is a warm puppy.” —Charles M. Schulz

When G.G., a German Shepherd/mystery mix, was showing signs of severe hip dysplasia, her owners accepted the gift of an adorable Border Collie/English Springer Spaniel puppy they named Andy. The logic was this: G.G. would teach Andy the ropes.

G.G.’s self-appointed purpose in life had been to raise the family’s three daughters, but that job was mostly done. Perhaps that is why she took her new duty seriously. Andy learned where the property borders were, where he was to do his “business,” and who he was allowed to bark at.

The day finally came when she could no longer make her back legs do what she needed them to do, and her owners answered G.G.’s unspoken pleas for dignity. When they got home from the vet, they could see how G.G.’s legacy lived on in Andy; in their new dog, their old one lived on.

Author and psychologist Rob Pasick and his wife decided to add a Jack Russell Terrier to their family when it became apparent their beloved Yellow Lab was nearing the end of her days. As Rob relates in his book, Conversations With My Old Dog, the transition was not exactly smooth.

In the chapter “Jack Russel Terror,” Lucy the Lab refuses to roll over to have her belly rubbed, and Rob is certain it has to do with Ruby the puppy’s boundless energy. How Rob helped Lucy—and how Lucy taught Rob this lesson and many more—makes Conversations With My Old Dog a natural addition to any dog lover’s library. It is also a thoughtful gift for someone who is grieving the loss of a beloved dog.

Conversations With My Old Dog can be purchased from this web site or from

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