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So What Does Ginko Think of the New Puppy?

“So What Does Ginko Think of the New Puppy?” is probably the #1 question people asked us when we first adopted Clover from Blue Ridge Border Collie Rescue in Virginia. The short answer is this … He LOVES her. Truly. But, these photos tell the story a whole lot better than I can with words.

At 14 1/2 years old with both heart and spine issues (not to mention that he is pretty much deaf at this point), people really did wonder — still do wonder, I think — how our elderly canine pal Ginko Cornelius Hawn handles having such a young / active puppy in the house.

Keep in mind that our current dogs ALWAYS have VETO power over new additions.

Simply put, thanks to a couple quick side-by-side leash walks and lots and lots of really good dog treats. Ginko figured out quickly that Clover’s presence meant treats for everyone, which helped solidify his happy feelings at having a little buddy again.

Many of his behaviors that we’d been blaming
on senility have vanished.
It turns out Ginko barked at random
because he was lonely.

Ginko is too old and frail to play directly with Clover, but they take turns catching the ball and enjoy poking around the pastures together and just hanging out. He is extremely patient with her antics, including a few times she has sat on him or sprinted over / under / across him. He’ll correct her when needed, but often a grumble or a curled lip is plenty. He has only pinched her hard enough or scared her enough to make her cry four times in three months, which we think is a testament to them both.

Clover kisses him a lot and tries VERY hard to get him to play with her, but I think she accepts now and understands that’s just not possible for him.

Here are some of my favorite photos of their budding friendship.

The Day Clover Arrived Home (September 13, 2014)

old dog and puppy, champion of my heart, dog blog

old dog and puppy, champion of my heart, dog blog

old dog and puppy, champion of my heart, dog blog

 September 2014

old dog and puppy, champion of my heart, dog blogold dog and puppy, champion of my heart, dog blog

old dog and puppy, champion of my heart, dog blog

old dog and puppy, champion of my heart, dog blog

October 2014

ginko and clover 10-5-14 a

old dog and puppy, champion of my heart, dog blog

November 2014

old dog and puppy, champion of my heart, dog blog

old dog and puppy, champion of my heart, dog blog

old dog and puppy, champion of my heart, dog blog

old dog and puppy, champion of my heart, dog blog

Really, the only adjustment we’ve had to make is that Ginko needs more of 1 (of 3) pain meds that he takes … simply because he is more active thanks to Clover.

Roxanne Hawn

Trained as a traditional journalist and based in the Rocky Mountains of Colorado, USA, I'm a full-time freelance writer for magazines, websites, and private clients. My areas of specialty include everything in the lifestyles arena, including health and home, personal finance and other consumer interests, relationships and trends, people and business profiles ... and, of course, all things pet related. I don't just love dogs. I need them in my life. Seriously.

HeatherL - December 22, 2014

So glad they get along. Love the photo progression.

Sam - December 14, 2014

Those are really sweet photos! They both have the same head tilt. 🙂

Monty and Harlow
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merr - December 14, 2014

LOVE!

Sheryl - December 13, 2014

So sweet. Treats for everyone wins them over every time!

Karen - December 13, 2014

Seriously, how did you get their ears to match in many of the photos? Sooo cute. Looks like they planned it that way!

Jane Boursaw - December 13, 2014

These photos make me weepy (with joy)! It’s such a joy to see this new puppy in your lives, and Gingko seems to have made the transition with good-natured grace. I love that the first photo is all “What is this? What have you brought into our house?” to “Hey, this is fun!”
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Brette - December 13, 2014

Aww. I’m so glad they are pals!
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Lynn - December 13, 2014

Puppies are delicious, but I have a soft spot for stately old dogs like Gingko. It’s good to see him enjoying his new sister. They seem to have matching ear styles: left one up, right one folded over on top.

Pamela - December 13, 2014

First, I’m thrilled to see Ginko on the blog. I love me some grey muzzle. 🙂

And I’m so glad your boy is such an indulgent puppy friend. Puppy energy can be irritating to anyone. But it sounds like Ginko was missing Lilly also.

I hope the pair bring you some joy during the rough moments you experience this month.
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Eileen - December 13, 2014

Such wonderful photos.
I’m glad Ginko has company again.
She is such a pretty puppy.

Jen Donohue - December 12, 2014

That very first picture is kind of hilarious, with Ginko looking at you like “…wait, you’re serious?”

Also, I just love Clover’s ears! And poor Ginko, I’m so glad he isn’t lonely anymore. It’s good that he’s accepted her, and they/you have found a way to cohabitate where everybody’s comfortable.
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Leland - December 12, 2014

I love the photos… and I love that they love each other…
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