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31 December 2017
Pleased to meet ya Sierra's mom. Sorry we had to meet here.
We have a pack of four, Jake who will be 15 in three weeks and is really the alpha . . . it's just very seldom he asserts it. When he does, it's a low low frequency growl that shuts the others down NOW. Jake is an English Spaniel/Setter mix.
Casey is our happy-go-lucky Golden tripaw (since 12/29/17). Casey goes with the flow, but was always in the mix for a pack brawl. Where he truly took charge is with non-pack members they might encounter. I think he'd still try.
Bode is a Boykin/Wachtelhund mix and he is fearless and insists on taking the lead for walks. He has the highest energy and is the first to initiate rough play.
Jet, at 6 1/2 is the frustrated alpha. He thinks he should be in charge and tortures Bode without mercy until Bode fires up. Then, he gets reminded that he's the baby.
Jake lives with a lot of pain due to lumbo-sacral stenosis, and tends to stick to himself regardless.
When we brought Casey home (his surgery was outpatient), the other dogs were intrigued, but they generally kept their distance for the first two or three weeks. The exception was meal time for which they all go outside and wait while we prepare. When we open the door, it's a mad dash to individual food dishes. Casey just had to fish or cut bait at meal time.
Suddenly, 6 or 8 weeks ago, I noticed that the younger dogs were not only not giving Casey a break, but would initiate rough-housing with him. Scared the crap out of me, and especially Ann as the other dogs start snapping at Casey's one remaining arm and they're all tumbling and rolling in a blur of fur and barks and yips and then I realized that really meant Casey was truly back to being Casey. He was his happy-go-lucky yet fearless self, and the other, younger dogs saw no reason to coddle him.
Long story to say that our pack's dynamics changed while Casey recovered, and once they returned to normal, I knew that his recovery was complete. I found great joy in that.
30 April 2018
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