At least he’s not biting her head off

People often ask me what Tucker thinks of our current puppy trainees. Does he like them? Is he happy when they go off to Advanced Training, and he’s an only dog again? How does he feel when a new one arrives on the scene? I’ve reflected before on the impossibility of knowing — with certainty — the answer to any of these questions. Still, if I can’t say precisely how he feels, we can see the broad outlines of his emotional state. Using that gauge, he seems to think Kyndall is okay.

A few times, he’s given her a snarly bark when she has particularly offended him (e.g. sinking her teeth into some tender part or climbing on him). But for the most part, he seems comfortable in her presence. Almost always, he wags his tail when she reappears after even a brief absence.

Kyndall, it seems to us, has exercised some restraint in her effort to befriend him.  In the first week or two, she gave him some space, even while obviously wanting to be close to him.

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Gradually, she decreased the distance and began to initiate contact.

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The other day, I noted she had worked up to this:

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He won’t wrestle and tumble with her, the way she’d love to do. (He turned 10 in November, after all.) But a few times, I’ve seen Tucker agree to a game or two.

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A spot of tug of war.
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Or that old favorite in which you pretend to try and gobble up the pawing, clawing puppy under the couch.

It all adds up to a picture of domestic harmony. We think he’ll be happy to have her as his roommate until she has to go off to Advanced Training 15 months from now. Will he then (at the ripe of old of 11 and a half) be ready to accept yet another furry young hellion? That’s another question.



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