Guest post by Kathryn Altmann, in honor of Amplify Austin for Love-A-Bull
Momo (fka Benny) is a 55-pound lap dog. This was apparent the moment his little tail wiggled out of his foster’s car and made his way over to greet us for the first time. Within one minute of pets, both our faces were getting licked clean and we knew we were in love.
However, our 7-year-old German Shepherd/Staffordshire Terrier mix, Nori, was a different story. Nori is typically good with all dogs, but doesn’t become good friends with many. Love-A-Bull was very understanding of that fact and also made it their priority to ensure that they placed the right dog with our family. Before meeting Momo, Love-A-Bull walked us through how to have the dogs properly meet each other for the first time, and while the walk went well, it was clear that Nori wasn’t 100% comfortable with a newcomer sharing her backyard space. We all agreed that they would bring Momo back in a few days, and Momo’s foster brought along Lindsey Ortiz from Love-A-Bull, a certified, professional dog trainer.
Lindsey joined and watched the two dogs walk and play, and helped confirm Nori and Momo would be a good fit. She couldn’t have been more correct! During the second visit, it was clear that Nori and Momo were getting along better, and that has continued as each day passes. Daily pack walks have especially helped with their bonding and getting Momo to be comfortable as part of the family. Four months in, and they are inseparable — they move from room to room in the house together, nap together, and patrol the backyard for squirrel intruders. Nori is on watch and Momo is happy to follow her lead and bound around the yard, even as it’s obvious he views them as entertainment to watch rather than mortal enemies.
Nori has been a physically active dog since she was a puppy. On the other hand, Momo is a very low-energy dog (we have had to coax him out of his crate in the morning to go to the bathroom, only for him to detour after seeing a cozy rug en route to the door so he can continue his beauty sleep), so we had to adapt to different ways to play. He is smart and enjoys challenging mental stimulation, so it’s been a joy to watch him learn and master different food puzzles.
Momo came from a line of shelters before joining Love-A-Bull’s care and had developed a few good habits and a couple bad habits, so we enrolled Momo and ourselves in a dog Adult Basics training course. He’s been quick to pick up on the different commands and is a great citizen of the house. Momo may have a hard time concentrating on conventional play like fetch, but he’s learned the command “Target,” and enjoys the stimulation of agility training. He has no problem running through a tunnel if food is at the end! We’re looking forward to continuing to build our bond with an Intro to Agility class.
When we started the journey to adopt a second dog, we knew we were looking for a pit bull (because we all know they are some of the sweetest dogs to ever walk the Earth) and we wanted a dog that would get along with Nori. We also figured working from home with the pandemic would grant extra time to invest in training Momo and ensure he was set up for success. What we didn’t expect was that Momo would be such a joy and help make this pandemic just a little easier to handle.
Having a dog that is just thrilled to see you constantly, wants to sit or lay on your lap, and whose gentle snores remind us that we aren’t alone while working has made a big difference. Watching the bond between Nori and Momo grow is heartwarming, and we contribute Momo’s successful adoption to Love-A-Bull and their dog matchmaking skills.