Thursday, September 29, 2011

Let's Play!!

One of the biggest changes that's occurred in our home is rediscovering the joy of play.  While the initial fear and uncertainty of a new dog has settled, and the girls have come to realize he's not the devil in a dog suit, we are starting to see something beautiful.  Play!  Watching dogs at play brings a smile to my face each time.  They play with complete abandon and carelessness.  The essence of glee!  But each dog has her or his own style of play.

We'll start with Arwen of course (who else?).  We've discovered that Arwen has the worst play skills of any dog ever.  Really - ever!  Her version of play involves complete and total subjugation of the playmate (Fenway).  If the playmate tries to get up or, you know, "play", this results in loud "woos" and stiff body posturing over said playmate who's only option is to roll onto his back in total submission.  Game over.  If this playmate decides to run, butt-biting is perfectly acceptable, then the standing over routine, complete subjugation again and this is sometimes followed by laying on top of the playmate to assure he can't get up.  It's a bit like watching a cat and mouse "playing".  Or like watching Vlad the Impaler in furry form.  Needless to say, there's a great deal of human intervention involved and even more time-outs.  She could never quite do this with Nyxie because of Nyxie's size.  Nyxie prefers toy play rather than being bit on the butt.  I can't imagine why...

So for years, poor Nyxie has longed for a true playmate.  One that will grab hold of a toy and tug!  One that will chase her silly self as she bounds from couch to ottoman and back to couch in a single graceful motion without biting her butt.  After her initial uncertainty and fear of our new little pup, she now seeks him out to play, toy in her mouth.  She'll bark at Fenway and bow, showing beautiful play-skills.  Sometimes she can get out of hand and starts "mouthing" the top of his neck,  but a quick correction from us sends her sensitive soul to settle down.

Finally, there's little Fenway.  Coming into our home as a new pack member is not for the canine faint of heart.  Neither one of them was terribly welcoming, but through some sweet talking and posturing, he's winning them over.  He learned quickly to lay on his back or find a human to cuddle against when things would get too rough.  And best of all, he plays like a pro.  He'll eagerly follow when teased to chase, but can end a play session with a look.  He easily entertains himself with a chew bone, but can hang on to the other end of a Wubba like a champ!

Sometimes all you need is a little fun, however overdue it might be...



  1. Any non-sibe person watching our pack "play" would be convinced that all we do is fight. We do play rough, but it IS what we do. And we all have fun doing it. So far there is still a lot more monitoring of Thunder's time with Lightning, but all in all we have a grand time together.

    So good to see Fenway fitting in so well.

    Woos ~ Phantom, Thunder, Ciara, and Lightning

  2. Hi Y'all,

    Sounds like a good time is now being had by all!

    Y'all come by now,
    Hawk aka BrownDog

  3. Fenway seems to be learning the ropes and fitting in perfectly. Arwen will probably accept him totally with a little more time.


  4. How I wish I khould play with all of woo!!!


  5. you look like one good playmate
    Benny & Lily

  6. I have to laugh as you describe Arwen. There's no way she letting that little guy even think about taking top command!! We always have that kind of "play" going on throughout the day. And I don't know why Nyxie doesn't like a good bite on the, another common thing that happens around here.

    Looks like Fenway still has a little ways to go to really fit in with the girls, but it sounds like there is some progress.

    They are all so adorable!

  7. LOVE those ears!! McIver would LOVE to play with Nyxie I am sure of it. GSDs can be surprisingly silly. Their serious faces just make it that much sillier!

    Mamma Heartbeat

  8. Reading about Arwen's version of play made me laugh out loud! I especially appreciate it, given the fact that I now have THREE dogs who are rather socially dyslexic and play challenged. With the addition of each dog, my hopes rose that NOW some real dog play would occur. But no. Any play episodes are very short-lived and kind of strange. Interestingly, we used a dog sitter recently who had a small dog that hit it off with, and miraculously, was able to play with, Lady. I think I'm going to have to invite them over for a playdate! Thanks for this post, I got a good laugh out of it!


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