It’s been two months since Benson came to live with us. This is my first go round with adding a third dog to the house. You know the ol’ joke about ASSUME? I’m surprised how often I did this without realizing it. I subconsciously compared him to my other dogs, and I know better than that. I should have asked the breeder more detailed questions about Benson’s behavior in the house and how much freedom he was given, then done my best to duplicate it in my home to start. I finally drug out a crate from the garage about three days in, in an attempt to help him settle. I think I heard a huge sigh of relief when he voluntarily went in. My guys hate crates, but Benson sleeps in it every night of his own choosing. I assumed he would mark a bit in the house since he’s intact. What I didn’t expect was the Great Pee Wars of ’19. I found at least 4 huge puddles, total bladder voiding, which started week 2-3. I never saw him doing it and I wasn’t sure it was him. One night there was the 4th big one right in the hallway where Koko always lays, I yelled at Benson, but then it occurred to me it was fresh and I checked their bellies, Koko was wet and Benson was dry. Those two were having a pissing match over Koko’s spot. The war is over and I guess Benson won because Koko lets him lay there and there are no more puddles. I am still working on his reactive issues. The joke is “what is the nut du jour?” You just never know what will trigger him into barking and running away. Partial list—hubby putting on a hat, hubby changing clothes, reflections in mirrors and doors, cracking eggs in skillet, garbage disposal, garage door opening, taking a shower, opening the bedroom curtains. Thankfully none of these behaviors has been unstoppable. I finally took my friend’s advice and got a squirt bottle with a long stream to it. I got him on the side of the face from about 15 feet when he was going nuts over my poor husband having the temerity to change clothes. That stopped him cold. He never did it again. Not only that, but that squirt bottle now has magical powers. If he sees it, he settles. I set the bottle on the floor next to the mirror that set him off—no more barking at the mirror. It’s like those lighthouse things you get with a Roomba to keep it from going in a room! LOL. I hope the social dynamic improves with the three of them. Fil and Benson play rough house sometimes. But by and large, it’s Fillion and Koko laying together on the sitting wall like they always do, with Benson up on the patio alone looking down at them. They aren’t mean to him, they pretty much just ignore him. I know I shouldn’t put human emotions to dogs but it kinda breaks my heart to see that. It’s like when I was teaching, and watching the awkward child walking around the playground alone at recess cuz no one would play with him. Ending on a positive note, this little boy has such a sweet joyful disposition. I nicknamed him Mr. Exuberance. He gets so excited if you pet him, his whole body wriggles and his tail beats you to death. He covers you in kisses. I have the cleanest ears west of the Mississippi! He launches himself into my lap for cuddles. Fillion and Koko have never done that. So like the Rolling Stone song line says—You can’t always get what you want, but if you try sometime you find you get what you need!