Thursday, April 17, 2014

Puppies Grow Up

Did you ever have a close friend in middle school and suddenly your interrests were different? That's the story of Chou Chou and her BFF, Toffee.

Chou Chou and Toffee were the best of friends, but they don't play like this anymore. Toffee decided recently that he doesn't want to wrestle. But Chou Chou hasn't changed: when she sees Toffee, she runs at him, leaping, hair flying in all directions, pawing and nudging him. But he pulls away; She is so exuberant that he's intimidated. 

The two dogs are the same age. They have played together for 2 years. But dogs, like children, grow up at different rates. Toffee, a chocolate lab, seems to have left puppyhood behind, while Chou Chou is still a wild thing. Briards mature late. She will be puppy-ish for another year. So the two friends continue to be together, but the friendship has changed. 

They still play tug together sometimes. And he will run with Chou Chou in the schoolyard -- he likes to be chased. But they now have different styles of play. Chou still wants to bounce around, play bow, roll on the ground, circle and nuzzle. But Toffee isn't interested. 

Chou gives up for a while, grabs a tug toy and tosses it around by herself (or gets me to pull with her) while her friend Toff sniffs and marks the yard. 

Some dogs get snarly with Chou Chou and she can't play with them. Others are intimidated by her size. And some are just not interested in being playful. So what's a briard girl to do? 

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