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.