Shiva’s First Real Friend

While most of our weekend was spent freaking out over our housing situation (thanks for all of your advice on Friday’s post!) there was a shining moment amidst all the stress. A friend of ours from agility invited us to a park on Sunday morning for a doggy playdate. Shiva’s very first doggy playdate, I should add.

Shiva is not a dog who makes friends very easily, though not for lack of trying. She is usually either too exuberant for other dogs’ liking or the other dogs are too slow to catch her interest or her overly happy greeting has them running in fear. It’s really hard to find a dog with the same amount of energy who doesn’t mind her poor manners. Despite our participation in dog sports for the last two and a half years, until now we hadn’t met a dog who would be a good match.

Border collies and Shelties are definitely out. Her boisterous enthusiasm can be a bit much for most herding breeds who feel the need to control their surroundings. Shiva is a dog who cannot be contained and this usually ends up causing problems. We try to encourage her to leave these dogs alone if we can. We have had some success with Boxers and Huskies as they tend to prefer a rougher play style. Unfortunately, we’ve only met a few in passing at the dog park and Shiva hasn’t formed any lasting bonds.

Dog parks can be great fun however, we haven’t managed to make any actual friends there, human or canine. It tends to be different people we see every visit and everyone just moves along at their own pace. Which is fine, it just means Shiva has been friendless in the commonly used sense of the word.

Do dogs need dog friends? Like everything else, it probably depends on the dog. I do believe Shiva is an extrovert in some ways as she always seems to get hyped up right after she sniffs another dog. Many a time it’s when we’re walking away after a greeting that Shiva will start bouncing around, full of joy, as if saying hello to another dog was just the best thing ever and she can’t wait to do it again. I don’t think she was suffering because she didn’t have a doggy pal to meet up with every now and then, but I do think she had a blast yesterday.

I know I am projecting. I can’t help it. It was so much fun to watch her chasing after a ball for over an hour, with a dog who has just as much, if not more, zest for life as she does. The two of them were just so cute together. Perhaps it’s silly; I kind of felt like a proud parent as we watched them run around. Shiva may not have needed a friend to be happy, but I am so excited she finally has one anyway.


As part of Petfinder’s Adopt a Shelter Cat Month, I am taking a moment each day to share stories of cats in need of forever homes.

This is Radcliffe, who is hanging out at the shelter in Delhi, New York. He was found as a stray at the young age of 12 weeks and, as you can tell from his photo, is already full of that admirable catitude.




This precious darling is Buttercup, waiting patiently at the Caledon Animal Shelter. There isn’t a lot of information on this orange girl but I think those gorgeous eyes of hers say it all.

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22 Comments on Shiva’s First Real Friend

  1. Jan
    June 11, 2012 at 3:31 pm (2 years ago)

    How sweet. I have a dog trainer friend who says that given their choice dogs would much prefer the company of other dogs. I don’t think they would, but it’s great when a dog with high energy can find a friend to keep up with her.

    I always feel sad for dogs who are all alone in their fenced yards and bark at us when we walk by. I’m sure they would like to be around a human or a dog.
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  2. Ximena
    June 11, 2012 at 3:55 pm (2 years ago)

    What a beautiful Vizsla! That’s super exciting. I remember when I first saw Elli play with other dogs; when she was 5 months old she would stick so close to me, socializing away from me was out of the question. I totally teared up. :) Now I’m back to wishing she’d love me more than other dogs, hahaha.
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  3. Blueberry's human
    June 11, 2012 at 4:21 pm (2 years ago)

    Awwww…how sweet! Blueberry hasn’t yet made any other dog friends either. But I do notice she has an extra bounce in her step as we walk away from another dog she has greeted on our walks. It’s so cute to see her bounce like that – makes her ears flop, probably much like Shiva’s do! I’m a sucker for a floppy ear!
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  4. shanendoah@life by pets
    June 11, 2012 at 5:43 pm (2 years ago)

    There’s a beautiful chocolate Dobie that comes to one of the dog parks we do. She and Larry always have a great time wrestling- so much so that he runs up to every other chocolate Dobie he sees, trying to find out if it’s Jax or not.
    I think it’s great for dogs to have dog friends- they are pack animals, after all.
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  5. 2 brown dawgs
    June 11, 2012 at 9:36 pm (2 years ago)

    It sounds like a fun time. I bet Freighter could give Shiva a run for her money. He is loud and has no manners when playing. Storm keeps trying to teach him, but he is a slow learner.
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  6. 24 Paws of Love
    June 11, 2012 at 11:31 pm (2 years ago)

    How great that Shiva found a playmate that matched her style and pace! Sounds like they had a blast together and it’s always good to see your dog playing with another dog and having such fun.

    I know what you mean about proud parent feeling… :)

  7. Julie
    June 12, 2012 at 12:42 am (2 years ago)

    So cute – it’s always nice to have someone to hang out with :) Cali seems to enjoy the company of boy dogs more than girls. Those pictures of them are adorable . . and those kitties? SO CUTE!!
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  8. 2 Punk Dogs
    June 12, 2012 at 1:11 am (2 years ago)

    I’m so happy for Shiva! It’s great that she finally met a compatible dog.
    Maggie’s first dog friend lives almost 4 hours away, so she only sees him a few times a year when my brother visits or we go there. Getting Duke was the best thing we’ve done for her, but we met a lot of dogs before we found her perfect match.
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  9. Sue
    June 12, 2012 at 3:14 am (2 years ago)

    So glad Shiva has a buddy. Hope they have many more play days.

  10. melF
    June 12, 2012 at 8:39 am (2 years ago)

    I’ve been a little slow getting to everyone’s blogs lately, but I read yours yesterday afternoon on the train and smiled. I love that Shiva has a friend. I know that dogs don’t always need a friend, but somehow it makes all the difference to know that they have someone else to play with and just “be a dog” with. I am so glad Shiva had that chance.
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  11. Georgia Little Pea
    June 12, 2012 at 9:36 am (2 years ago)

    Dear Shiva. You mus move here. quickly . I will play with you and all my friends will too becos we aRe all ruff. You can bring your friend too. It will be a party! My Thpis wants to no wats up with your human. Did she miss something interesting while she was busy? Sorrey for my bad typing. Your friend Georgia.x
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  12. Peggy Frezon
    June 12, 2012 at 9:49 am (2 years ago)

    That is so cute! I am impressed at how you understand Shiva, to the best of a human’s ability. I went through the same emotions when I blogged about Do Dogs Need Siblings? Kelly mostly didn’t like other dogs, but when I saw her playing with a Golden Retriever named Beast, it made me so happy. Kelly and Brooks don’t really play together yet. I’m still hoping that will happen. I hope Shiva gets more happy play dates with her new friend.
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  13. Kirsten Stade
    June 12, 2012 at 11:39 am (2 years ago)

    That’s so great! I am certain that doggie company adds richness to a dog’s life in ways that we can’t even imagine.
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  14. Stacy and Ellie
    June 12, 2012 at 7:17 pm (2 years ago)

    Yay for doggy friends! I completely know what you mean about high energy scaring off other dogs – Ellie is very similar. She is very anxious upon meeting another dog and will usually make vocal sounds which are either high pitched squeaks or low “growls” and when it’s a growling day, it makes the other dog owners think she’s aggressive :( It’s hard to explain that it’s just an anxious whine.
    Anyway it sounds like Shiva had fun and I’m glad you found another dog for her to play with!
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  15. Donna and the Dogs
    June 12, 2012 at 8:04 pm (2 years ago)

    So sweet. Perfect sized pair, if you ask me! And, gotta love that she chose a V as her friend. :-) I’m partial to them, as you know. Heck, I’m partial to most dogs. :-)
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  16. houndstooth
    June 12, 2012 at 8:46 pm (2 years ago)

    Aww! I kind of felt that way about Morgan. When we would take her places and she’d see other dogs who liked to play like she did, she was SO happy! She loves the Greyhounds, but they don’t play like she does at all. When we brought Kuster home, she immediately sensed that he was from her tribe! She went a little crazy for a while with the delerium, but now things are evening out. I’m glad Shiva found a dog to play with!
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  17. Trude
    June 13, 2012 at 6:18 pm (2 years ago)

    Such cute photos! It’s a vizsla, right? Those dogs are always so gorgeous. I’d call that a #prouddogmama moment. :) Dante doesn’t have too many dog friends, he’d much rather hang out with people. He does get along with my brother’s rat terrier mix, but I think it’s only because of forced time together. ;)
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  18. lauren
    June 24, 2012 at 7:13 pm (2 years ago)

    LOL! Poor Shiva. Her porridge is either too hot or too cold. I’m so glad she’s found herself a DBFF!
    lauren recently posted..The Makeup of a MuttMy Profile


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