Friday, February 21, 2014

A Dog's Life

This is Socrates.  A fitting name for a brilliant dog. Socrates was about 10 months old in this photo, and he had been with us almost two weeks.  I have a thing for terriers, although this one broke the mold.  But as you can see, Socrates wasn't too happy then.  A huge yard and tons of toys were no fun.  He was only animated outside when squirrels or a chipmunk happened along.  Then he bounded up the hill like a rabbit, attempting to climb trees trying to catch one.  But all too often, Socrates was BORED.  Humans, from a terrier's point of view, are pretty poor playmates.  But on this day, something magical happened . . . 

 Gorgeous Gracie came to visit!  Like Socrates, she was a rescue dog from the southern states, and Socrates immediately fell head over feels in love!  Well, not really.  But he was head over heels in happiness to have another DOG to play with.  

 The truth is that Gracie may not have been quite as intoxicated by Socrates as he was by her.  Her facial expression speaks volumes about her first impression of him. Socrates body language and stance reveal where he's coming from - he wants to RUN and PLAY and she had better get with the program!  And of course, as a genteel Southern Belle, Gracie soon graciously obliged her host by racing and chasing around the yard like she was born to to be wild.   

And then . . . more joy!  A puppy, too!  Murphy is another rescue from down south, but at four months, he was hardly a gentleman.  But then, neither was Socrates! These two play like they are going to kill each other - to this day.  But they ARE playing, even if it sounds like Godzilla gone wild!

Any normal human would be horrified at this display of viciousness, except dog people.  Rather, except for dog people who have socialized pups.  These two are play-fighting.  As bad as it looks when you snap a photo, in reality no one gets bitten, and not a drop of blood is ever shed.  

Murphy and Sox liked to play "share the stick" (or maybe steal the stick) from the very first.  Gracie plays as well.  They chase each other around and around and up and down to win possession of that stick.

Here they are six months later, still grappling for control of a damned stick!  
Now, I said this post was going to be about exercise, and instead I wrote about the joy of dogs playing.  Why?  Because the very best exercise you can provide your dog is playing with other dogs - and I like dogs to be joyful!