pupdate part 1: doggie play date (now with photos!)

Last Friday was a statutory holiday in Canada, and a weekday day off is one way we see friends who work more normal schedules than ours. James and Lori came over with Cobalt and Cobalt's new sister, Denim. James photographed the proceedings.

We were all curious to see how all four dogs would get along. The first time Tala met Cobalt, Tala was really obnoxious - she picked on Cobalt all day. Not much fun for the little one. The next time they met, Cobalt figured out how to stand up to Tala - and Tala loved it! (Unfortunately, Tala is a bit of a bully.)

By the third time Tala and Cobalt saw each other, they were great friends. I knew that that friendship is now cemented, but I didn't know how Tala would do with a very small puppy. And I forgot what Cody what do!

Tala was happy and excited to see Cobalt. She was mildly intrigued by Denim, but she never focused on the puppy and didn't harass her the way she did with Cobalt on their early meetings. She was too distracted by wanting to play with Cobalt.

Cody adored Denim. She was smitten by her. Cody followed the puppy around all day. You've got to picture this: Cody is a 60-pound (27 kg) dog, and the puppy is around 14 weeks old, and will be about 25 pounds (11 kg) full grown. So imagine this big dog trailing after this tiny puppy, as if she's being led on a leash. Once in a while, if Denim wasn't paying enough attention to her, Cody would bat Denim with a paw. Denim would yelp, but it was so obvious that all Cody wanted was to be noticed.

I had completely forgotten that Cody loves small dogs. In our old neighbourhood in New York City, there was a dachshund she used to see on walks. Cody would lie down on the sidewalk to nuzzle the dachshund's face, and I swear, she would try to wriggle under the dachshund.

So here's the scene in our backyard last Friday. Cobalt is chasing after a tennis ball or running around the yard. Tala is following Cobalt, because she wants to play with her. Denim, the puppy, is following her big sister, and also wants to see what all the fuss is about. And Cody is magnetically attracted to Denim and is following her. It's a doggie parade!

Two sides of our yard is fenced in with a good chain-link fence. But on one side, there's an old wooden slat fence, mostly camouflaged with big cedars. When the neighbours are in their yard, Cody and Tala sometimes stick their heads through the slats to say hi. But being used to big dogs, I never thought that those slats might actually be too wide...

We were sitting around chatting, when Lori looked up and said, "Denim is next door!" Denim had simply wandered off, through the slats. After some persuasion, she came back (the value of early training, right there!) - and then Cobalt decided to inspect the neighbour's yard. I was wondering if I'd have to ring their doorbell, but Cobalt came back. And Denim left again. At this point, the dogs had been running around for hours, so it was a good time to go in, and remove temptation.

One thing about always adopting rescue dogs, Allan and I have never had a puppy, and we probably never will. I very rarely have an opportunity to be around and play with puppies, so spending time with Denim was a real treat. Seeing Cody with Denim was just hilarious.

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