Sunday, November 24, 2013

The Puppy Reunion


I love reunions. As a psychologist, I've been doing research on lost love reunions for many years. So I am happy to report that Chou Chou and Toffee are playing together again ... sort of. 

Yesterday the two pups met at the schoolyard. That was the first time Chou Chou was at the school since she got attacked. I didn't know how she would react to being there again, but it's been a long time and I was hoping she'd be okay. She was!

As for me "being okay" ... I brought a broom, to separate aggressive dogs if needed, and some citronella spray. I was not going to let Chou Chou get hurt ever again!

It was Saturday, around noon, and Chou and Toffee were the only two dogs there. And the two friends ran together across the big playground, fast and far -- Toffee took off, with Chou Chou following wherever he went. Lots of good exercise! If Toffee wasn't directly playing with Chou Chou, she didn't seem to notice. ("Of course I noticed! But I was happy to run with him!")

Toffee, a labrador retriever, likes to smell everything; when they stopped running, he went into a muddy, weedy area behind the garbage bins, where the school children throw bags and other junk, and where I didn't want Chou to be. But of course she followed. ("Oui! I follow my friend!") 

When a few children came into the schoolyard, it was time for the dogs to go back on leash and go home. I was very pleased that Chou Chou went back to the schoolyard and was happy there, as before the attack. 

Today we went to the schoolyard again. This time there were two other dogs, with Toffee, that we didn't know. I wasn't sure how my pup would react to them, and rather than have another bad experience, I chose not to find out. So we went to Mary's home, where Toffee and Chou Chou could play in the yard. "Could" ... but they didn't. 

Toffee became a Velcro dog, hiding behind Mary or under her arm. ("I tried to get him to play with me, but he wouldn't!") Maybe he was just tired because he had played at the schoolyard before we came over? Maybe it's a developmental stage? I don't understand this change in him. 

So Toffee hung back and watched as I played tug with Chou Chou, and Mary played tug with Chou Chou. Toffee would not join in. But Chou Chou was having fun anyway. ("Oui! I love tug!")

We were leaving. Chou Chou and I were out of the yard, on the other side of the gate. Toffee ran over with his tail wagging, nose to nose with Chou Chou through the iron gate, happy as could be to see her -- as if she were just arriving instead of leaving. ("He's still my BFF! And it's not my fault when he won't play!")

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photo by Janet Smith

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