Posts Tagged ‘Rescue dogs; play time; bond;’


During my campaign to adopt a second dog, one of my main arguments was that it would be company for Little Bear. He’d have a playmate, someone to fool around with, someone to chase a ball with in the park.

However, when Annie arrived, it became clear pretty quickly that she had no idea what a tennis ball was, nor did she possess the inclination to find out. Once she established that you couldn’t eat them, that was it.

She also had no mind to play with LB. Despite his valiant efforts on the Tomfoolery front she remained nonchalant. Play bows, shoulder rubs, woofs plus no doubt a dozen more signals we just miss, it was like he was invisible.


It’s hard to see the little fella look so dejected, so imagine our delight when a few weeks ago, completely out of the blue, Annie ran up to him in the park, bounced into a play bow and tried to chase him! I don’t know who was the more amazed – us or him!

We made the mistake of praising her for it and of course broke the spell instantly as she associates praise with food and as the walking treat bags, us. We were smarter the next few days and watched, tight lipped but wide eyed and beaming, as she went through the same little routine.

It’s taken them a few weeks to work out the rules. Being a complete klutz, her first few attempts to play ended abruptly when she stepped on him or unceremoniously bowled him over. This earned her a barking at and then a few minutes of statue Bear, where he’ll stand stock still and refuse to move, ears back, face set and his eyebrows meeting in the middle. A silent but effective protest at his mistreatment.

Happily, they seem to have figured out the ballet that is clumsy Labrador chasing nimble Schnauzer and it’s now a daily occurrence. Watching them literally running rings around us in the park today I couldn’t help but yet again marvel at Annie’s power to surprise us.

It’s so right what they say, for a lot of rehomed dogs, their true personality doesn’t really shine through for many months, years even. That Annie is relaxed and confident enough now, after nearly 18 months, to play and have fun is fantastic. To see Little Bear’s face light up in delight as she chases him is just magical.

The bond that she and LIttle Bear have is also a complete delight. It’s been a bumpy road with both of them, but every time I see them snuggled up together on the sofa, or as they trot along together, sniffing the same patch of grass or just rubbing shoulders, I’m so glad that the campaign paid off.

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