Friday, April 1, 2011

Watching Dogs Play

One of the joys of having a dog sanctuary at my home is watching them play.  Who plays with whom and why?  How do they play?  What are they learning?  One chance I had earlier this week was at Safe Harbor watching blind and deaf Windsor play with Buford.  He gave as much as he got - he just had to wait to get it to know where to give back; he has a great nose.  It was very heartening to see him able to be a "normal" puppy - the almost automatic prejudice re: limitations one brings to a "handicapped" dog were completely put to rest watching Windsor play.

Look Jane!

See Sally and Twinkle Toes

There are the puppies and smaller dogs at Silverwalk, too.  Justus and Margie have always played together.  The puppies, Twinkle Toes, Jane and Sally,  I noticed several times playing as a threesome in the yard.   Queenie, older yet still very small, played a lot with Sally in particular.  Watching dogs interact is a good way to be present in the moment.  Sometimes I have a camera; too often I do not - like when I saw Justus and Sally playing on the couch this morning.  Big black dog and small mostly white puppy - they seemed quite evenly matched!

Lady Bug
Margie leading Jedi and a very young Justus
I don't know if Hoss really plays but he runs and is played at by Justus - Hoss bawling and Justus barking.  BTW, the final consensus on Justus's parentage is Doberman mix.  Certainly not full bred but more Dobie than Black and Tan Coonhound.  Sadie, the real Black and Tan Coonhound, does tend to hang out with Justus, too, which can be very confusing as at a glance they are hard to tell apart.   One way I get to watch play a lot is I am throwing the ball for Lady Bug.  She is incorrigible in her desire for fetch.  A new ball for her is a diamond!  When Dr. Mohan and Erin were here on Wednesday, Lady Bug stood outside with her ball, looking at Erin, "telling" her she needed to be doing more than what she was; the more, of course, was to throw the ball for LB.


Sheila Sheltie does not play so much as do her herding thing - rounding dogs up, keeping tabs on Lady Bug and her ball, playing princess so I will pet her.  Todd, too, is becoming quite the pet hog.  He regularly comes up to me, putting his forelegs on my leg, waiting for me to scratch his side so he can be in ecstasy.  A fun week to be watching as I was not up to doing much else :(.  Hopefully, next week will be much better for me and the play will continue!

click HERE to see our adoptable dogs
Safe Harbor @ Silverwalk is a small division of Safe Harbor Animal Sanctuary, Inc. in Jackson, MO, a licensed, 501c3 tax exempt sanctuary mostly for cats with some dogs and now Silverwalk. Silverwalk is in Cape Girardeau County, MO, specializing in Beagles, other hounds and senior dogs. There are always dogs needing adoption and sponsorship. Please see Safe Harbor @ Silverwalk for more information about Silverwalk and Safe Harbor, our dogs and "adorable adoptable" cats needing very good homes.