One of our favorite things about our job as dog walkers is getting to know the different personalities of the dogs in our care. We love watching how each dog may react differently when presented with the same situation. Take the first meeting between 2 dogs, for example. For some dogs, the first getting-to-know-you butt sniff will progress into carefree pouncing and playing. And for others, an initial meeting can be stressful, full of indifference or aggression. This is a little story about how two different dogs, with very different personalities, eventually turned their initial indifference into a jovial friendship.
Meet our little adopted dog, Nellie (Nellie Belly, Nells Bells, The Stink – you should smell her breath! Why is it we develop so many monikers for our dogs?) Anyway….Nellie’s goal in life (besides hoarding and identifying all rawhides, tennis balls, cozy blankets as her’s) is to make friends. No joke. And it gives us such pleasure to watch her do what she does best: bring another dog out of his/her shell with a very respectful invitation to play. Here she is (ahem, protecting her beloved tennis ball):
But still, not all pups are inclined to instantly trust – let alone play with – every dog they meet. Now meet Maizey (aka: Crazy Maizey, when flashing her zombie-like eyes while honing in on her beloved treats, Maizey Moo, dunno how she got this nickname but she jumps around with pure joy when we say it so it’s stuck, Maizers and The Creepy Creeper – when stalking her squirrels). While Maizey has certainly had a couple of these instantaneous friendships (cousin Jersey and Daisy), she is generally not one to immediately befriend another dog. She is never aggressive but rather a bit indifferent to four-legged playmates (well, like we said, unless the four-legged creature has grey fur and taunts her while scurrying around eating nuts). Although she is as sweet and lovely as they come, Maizey would take a human buddy over a doggie pal any day (humans give treats, after all, and Maizey is no dummy).
Recently Nellie and Maizey reminded us that, like humans, dogs with different personalities can become playful friends. It may take time and persistence….and trust….but it can happen. Maizey and Nellie walked along side each other, almost every day, for 6 months, with little interaction and lots of indifference. Perhaps reading Maizey’s desire to walk without being bothered (too much squirrel stalking, grass sniffing and treat-begging to do!), Nellie rejected her usual need to make friends and instead walked alongside Maizey without much interaction…for 6 months. Then one day, after a particularly awesome stroll….it happened. They played. Nellie took a chance and Maizey engaged. And luckily, while trying hard not to laugh at the pure sweetness of it all, this interaction was captured on video. Watch how the initial stare down moves into the beginning stages of play (which ended up developing into a fun game of pouncing, leg-biting and bum-in-the-face….Nellie’s favorite move). We hope you enjoy the video!