The right roommate helps calm anxious dog

Jules and Lannister the dogs playing together, each holding opposite sides of the same stick with their mouths
Lannister loves making friends, but his nervous energy can be a lot for other dogs — until he met Jules.
By Best Friends staff

Lannister never has a problem making human friends at the Sanctuary. And when things are relatively quiet in Dogtown, he gets along great with other dogs — especially dogs who love to zoom around and wrestle as much as he does. He loves a good zoomie.

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Because Lannister always seemed so happy and relaxed after his play sessions, his caregivers wanted to find him a roommate. But finding the right roommate for Lannister has been a bit challenging. Just like people, dogs can have friends and acquaintances with whom they can hang out happily. But trying to live with those fun friends can bring new challenges. It’s especially hard for Lannister, who struggles with anxiety and has a hard time staying calm when anything exciting is happening around him.

Still, Lannister’s success in doggy playgroups, combined with a new anxiety medication that helps him feel more balanced, encouraged his caregivers to try again. They knew exactly what they were looking for in a roommate for Lannister: a respectful, playful dog who wouldn't mind his occasional antics (like reacting to something exciting or running the fence line in his yard).

[Playgroups at Arkansas shelter let a shy dog shine]

As soon as caregivers saw sweet, playful little Jules, they knew she'd be the perfect fit. While she was nervous at first when she met Lannister, she was soon following him around like a shadow. “In the run, they immediately hopped in the pool together to cool off,” recalls caregiver Katelyn Page. “It was adorable.”

Now, the two romp and sunbathe together and generally enjoy each other's company. Instead of getting up and chasing after passing cars, they’re too comfy and cozy cuddled up beside one another to bother. Jules’ constant presence helps to ground Lannister rather than pushing him over the top — a first for the anxious dog.

As a roommate, Jules isn’t perfect. She’ll sometimes grab Lannister’s ankles or nip at his backside to start a little (playful) trouble. Lannister, in turn, responds like a gentleman and tolerates her silliness. After all, no roommate is perfect, but some are perfect for each other.

This article was originally published in the November/December 2023 issue of Best Friends magazine. Want more good news? Become a member and get stories like this six times a year.

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