Dog Friends

As I walked through the park today, I was reminded how much our dogs bond with their friends. There is a small group of us “terrier” people who meet up on the weekends to walk our dogs. The group is composed of three Scotties (Abby, Bonnie and Bridget) and one Cairn (Beau).

Due to vacations, we did not see Beau or Bonnie for three weekends. I noticed during this time that Abby was a bit quieter. She was overjoyed to see Bridget but I could tell they both missed the rest of the gang. We met Bonnie on a walk one day and Bonnie and Abby were so excited to see each other. They were just like teenage girls trying to tell each other all their news after a summer break. Last weekend was the first weekend that the whole gang was together in awhile. I could tell the dogs were overjoyed to see each other. I wonder if Beau told Abby, Bridget and Bonnie of his adventures at the dog sitters while his owner told the humans of his adventures in Florida.

If a new dog approaches the terrier group, Bonnie seems to go out as the ambassador. She is calm and friendly and if she is okay with a dog, the others will be too. Bridget is also good at checking out any new dogs. Although she does not like jumpy puppies or Boston Terriers (that is a story for another time). Abby is getting a bit tougher to judge in her reactions to other dogs. Sometimes she is very friendly but there are times when she will try to nip them which needless to say does not go over well. I have learned from experience that if one dog picks a fight with another member of the group, the rest will join in to back up their friend.

I remember visiting a dog park with Chelsea and Angus. Chelsea was sitting at my side as she was not one who liked to socialize with other dogs. She preferred the humans. Angus was playing chase with a young whippet. (You guessed it – Angus was not winning the game.) The whippet nipped Angus in the backside causing him to yelp loudly. Before I knew it, Chelsea tore across the park and t-boned the whippet knocking him to the ground. Angus and Chelsea ran back to me with gleeful expressions. His big sister had taken care of the bully. Mind you, I did have to do some apologizing to the whippet’s owner as it was a very minor nip.

Unfortunately for Angus, Chelsea’s protective side only came out in certain moments. When he chewed apart my new Ottoman, she practically “paw” printed him for me.

For dogs, once a friend, always a friend. When Abby was a puppy, she used to play with a Rottweiler puppy named Cocoa. To this day, if Abby sees Cocoa she goes really silly and will drag me over to say hi. Cocoa is the same. They always remember their friendship even if they have not seen each other for months.

When you have more than one dog, they can become very close and the absence of one is felt deeply by the others. Once Chelsea was very sick due to coming into contact with many different strains of the lepto virus. She became lethargic and by the time the vet opened in the morning, she was not moving. Chelsea had to stay at the vet’s for a few days as they tried to save her. During this time, I had a friend who volunteered to walk Angus for me as I would go and sit with Chelsea each night for a couple of hours. Angus refused to walk beyond the front yard which was very unusual as he would never turn down a walk. When I had to go in to work, I boarded Angus at the vet for the day so he would have company as he had not spent a full day by himself before.

As we entered the back room at the vet’s, we could see Chelsea laying in a cage hooked up to an IV. Angus ran to her and jumped up placing his paws on the cage wagging his tail and crying with excitement. Chelsea, seeing him, stood up and placed her paws on his. It was a tearjerker moment that I only thought happened in the movies. Chelsea did recover (thanks to an awesome veterinarian and his team). She was back to her old ways of running Angus and me. Angus was overjoyed when she got home. He had missed her. (So had I.)

Dog friendships fascinate me. Dogs can have different types of friendships just like humans. They can have a friend who they can wrestle with, another to play chase, and another to sit and watch other dogs (I am sure they are just gossiping when they do this). They know exactly what type of friend another dog is going to be. Dogs always look for the best in everyone which is something we can all learn from. Although, it is hard sometimes especially with those park people who don’t pick up.

Happy Monday everyone!