After Karli died, the house seemed very quiet - even with eleven cats here, there was a very noticable dog shaped emptiness. So, after a few weeks, I started looking for a suitable dog to adopt - though I knew that finding a dog that would happily live with so many cats would not be an easy task. I registered with and passed a homecheck by Rottweiler Welfare because, ideally, I wanted another Rottie - though I knew, because of my requirements, that I would be unlikely to be united with a suitable dog within a reasonable time.

To some people it may sound weird, but I sat looking at a photo of Karli and asked her to help me find a dog suitable to take over where she left off. Within a couple of days, I found an advert for a sixteen month old Dobermann boy who needed a home; the advert said he was good with cats and children (exactly what I needed), but needed to be somewhere without other dogs. I emailed straight away, and within a few days Zeus came to live with us.

Zeus has moved around a lot in his short life, not really anyone's fault, just an unfortunate set of circumstances; he won't be moving anywhere else now - this is his forever home.

The first meeting between Zeus and the cats didn't go as smoothly as I'd hoped - they hissed at him, he retaliated by barking at them. Most of the cats have only ever known Karli; they had grown up with her so knew she wouldn't harm them - it's understandable that they were frightened of Zeus. We put a dog gate across the kitchen door so the cats could see Zeus, but know they were safe at the same time; it wasn't long before the cats started to investigate....

The first cat to show interest was Amy, my youngest - she was closely followed by P'ding. They didn't stay for very long, but a start had been made. When I first allowed Zeus free access to the whole downstairs and garden, the cats decided to move themselves upstairs in protest, but before too long, they started creeping down to investigate Zeus as he slept. Sometimes they would wake him, and he'd suddenly jump up and scare the cats, the cats would then run and Zeus, thinking they were playing, would chase them!

There was obviously a break down in communication between the two different species; a problem that would not resolve itself in time. I knew that Zeus was only chasing the cats because they were running away every time he moved, so the problem appeared to be with the cats and not Zeus - it was the cats that needed to calm down, but they're not as easy to train as dogs. Luckily Zeus is very food orientated; I say luckily because the more a dog likes food, the more easily trainable it is.

The cats were happy to investigate Zeus when he was asleep, but were scared if he was moving around - the solution was simple, I just had to stop Zeus from moving around so the cats would feel safer around him. How did I do it? Easy - food. Last night Zeus lay extremely attentively at my feet as I threw him the occasional treat; he was aware of the cats and occasionally glanced at them, but the only things really on his mind was the yummy food I had. Zeus stayed still, and at least six cats came downstairs to investigate him.

It's still early days, but things are going very well and I am sure it won't be long before Zeus and the cats learn to live happily together. He's not Karli, there is no way she could ever be replaced.... but he is a wonderful boy in his own right, and I'm very happy he's here.

Goodbye Zeus

Zeus Zeus update Snow dog Zeus on the loose Update on Zeus

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