Wednesday, January 10, 2007

Play Date

Toni has been bringing her dog, Toby, with her when she comes to play the recorder. It was hoped that the dogs would learn to like each other and have a good time. Today was the third visit, and after a short period of adjustment, all of the boys seem to enjoy each other's company. This picture of Toby and Benny looks as if they are ready to kill each other, but they are actually playing.

The first time Toby came through the door, all of my dogs attacked him ferociously. I put Benny, the instigator, outside until the other three had settled down. Then I let Toby outside with Benny, who lost all of his machismo without Patick and Lytton to back him up. He and Toby got along fine until I let them back in. Benny turned ugly again when he had his brothers by his side.The next thing was to separate Patrick and Lytton by putting them in the living room, where they could be seen but not interfere. That worked well and Toby and Benny became fast friends.

The next time we allowed all the dogs to socialize and things went pretty well. Patrick barked loudly when Benny and Toby got rambunctious, and Lytton stayed beside me and growled whenever anyone came close, but generally peace reigned. Today when Toni arrived, all four dogs got out through the front door before we could stop them. We had quite a time chasing them around the neighborhood. They visited all the dogs that were tied outside, but scampered out of reach every time we got close. After some frustrating time Toni finally grabbed Benny and Toby. Patrick scampered around happily, seemingly oblivious to the game but understanding that not being caught was the point of it all. He ran away from me, but followed Toni and the others to the house. Lytton appeared as well, and we all came inside. From that point on everyone relaxed and had fun. Patrick couldn't always control his excitement and occasionally barked hysterically, but otherwise all was well. Even Lytton ventured from my side and joined in a little. It makes me feel good to give the dogs something new and interesting to do. Sometimes I think they will die of boredom with no one in their lives but their sedentary old mother (me). I'm happy to provide them with some diversion.
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