Just before we started moving into our building in February 2022, Samuel sent an email to the chat group introducing his canine companion, Reed:
As most of you may already know, Reed is a laid-back dog with an easy-going personality.
When he meets another dog for the first time, he is friendly but is sensitive about his mouth. If a new dog comes too close to his mouth, Reed will growl and bark to let him/her know to back up. Reed will NOT attack. Given his history, Reed is simply marking his boundaries.
In my opinion, it is perfectly fine for dogs to growl and bark to show their boundaries when he/she is meeting another dog for the first time. If we interfere as owners, it disrupts their socialization process, leading to dysfunctional social dynamics among the pack.
As for cats, Reed may sniff them upon the first encounter and ignore them. He will not engage with cats unless the cat initiates further contact.
Samuel added that he wanted to share these details “about Reed and his personality to avoid misinterpretation of his behavior.”
Samuel's email was much appreciated by the community as, during those first months in the building, we were all going to be meeting each other’s pets in the halls, in the elevator, and entering or leaving the building as we all went on walks. Knowing which pets liked to be petted, or which ones needed a little more room, was valuable in helping both dogs and humans settle into their new spaces at their own pace.
Theresa replied, “How tremendously important and kind! To know you care about us and Reed enough to educate us ahead of time, is just lovely, Samuel! Good info means better decisions for sure.”
Susan followed soon after with details about her and Hans’ dog, Gus:
Our dog Gus is similar to Reed in that Gus likes an introduction rather than a “rush to shake hands”. Gus has enjoyed the dogs he’s met thus far - especially Ruby who we’ve met on the 2nd floor a few times - We are working on an elevator routine with Gus - we wait to see if anyone is in the elevator, get in, I get Gus to sit and then we wait for the door to open, see who is there if anyone, and then exit.
Samuel and Susan’s posts were followed by other owners who shared great “getting-to-know-you” information about their dogs (and cats, too!). Although our pets are non-voting members of our community, Bull City Commons wouldn’t be half as homey or cuddly without them.
They are, in fact, so essential, that on our internal web site’s members page we have a section of "getting-to-know-you information" for the much-loved pets of BCC.