I love the way dogs ask to play with each other. In our household, the process never seems to change at all. The process is based on offer and acceptance.
Teddy always bows to the superior standing of Priscilla and asks for the game to begin. Priscilla always practices the dog version of civil inattention by putting her mousie face upwards. Teddy responds by grooming Prissy’s chest – another sign of a lower status dog trying to curry favour with the pack leader. Of course, Teddy still does not understand that Priscilla is blind. Prissy went blind over a four day period in April 2015 with SARDS. I researched back then and found Muffin’s Halo online from California. This device assists blind dogs negotiate their environment. Priscilla cannot manage without the Halo these days. When I took these photos this summer’s past, the diabetic crisis that has since visited Priscilla still had not eventuated. As you can see, Prissy is quite large here as she has yet to be diagnosed with Cushings Syndrome, a beast of a disease that carries weight gain with other assorted nasty symptoms; including fur loss.
Priscilla’s roly poly body means Teddy easily rolls her over and the chomping and growling process starts. Teddy is a silent player, preferring to roll Prissy over and generally roll her around the lawn. Prissy is a Maltese and growls ever so much at the pleasant indignity of being pushed over onto the summer grass.
The game continues. I snapped an overhead shot of the laughter on Prissy’s face as Teddy’s Shih Tzu full moon shaped scone (head in Australian parlance) looms over her. Game over and Prissy pants with enjoyment on the lawn, always watched over by Teddy who knows there is something wrong with Prissy but just can’t figure out what. The Muffin’s Halo gets pushed out of the way during play. Sometimes we take the Halo off for games but other times, the offer and acceptance occurs so quickly, Prissy is already on the ground before we can remove it.
Game over for the moment.
The diabetic crisis occurred last December and we have been picking up the pieces ever since. Prissy’s weight gain with Cushings Syndrome has now decreased from 8.5 kilograms back to around 4 kilograms, her ideal weight. All Prissy’s jumpers are too big for her these days. Prissy’s daily routines centre around diabetic treatment. We can only hope for the best for Priscilla but medicate and manage and observe in the meantime.
This is our biggest dog – Bertie – a lovely Merino/Border Leicester cross girl who thinks she is a dog. Priscilla and Teddy accept Bertie as part of the pack and Bertie loves to see us all, both two legged and four legged animals in the household. Bertie’s favourite activity is to be on the lead and have a wander through our young orchard. We all enjoy this relaxing activity.