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Sunday, July 14, 2013

Playing with Leo While Waiting for Sword

Today is the day Sword is expected back. When I brought the calendar in this morning to show Bow, he asked me again why she has not returned. This was the first time he asked me since the calendar routine has been instituted. I told him we have to wait for this evening. He seemed to accept this and asked to go outside.

Bow enjoys his swing, but he also likes playing with Leo. Leo is an unusual dog, because he identifies with others and tries to imitate them. When Brownie, our chocolate lab, starts to howl. which is a natural behavior for him, Leo joins in. Howling does not come naturally to Leo, but he imitates Brownie, out of a social desire to show solidarity. In the same way, Leo sometimes tries to vocalize like a chimpanzee. In the video below, listen to the sound. It wasn't Bow who made that vocalization. It was Leo.

After the friendly game of chase, Bow decided to swing some more, and while he was swinging, he started vocalizing, and since he was already vocalizing, he thought he might as well display, too. But notice that as soon as he was done displaying, Bow sat down meekly and waited for me to open the door so he could go back inside.

There is such a thing as a completely non-violent display of dominance. Bow is not trying to hurt anyone when he does this. He just wants us to appreciate him and his prowess.

Bow did not stay indoors long, though. He wanted to go back out so he could play chase with Leo again..

Playing chase is good exercise for both Leo and Bow. Unlike Teyman, who used to feel provoked and angry when Bow tried to initiate play with her, Leo understands. He gets it. He knows it is just a game, and he considers Bow to be his good friend. I think Bow feels the same way.


  1. Did Leo grow up with Bow? Maybe Leo sort of looks up to Bow as a big brother, whereas Teyman considered Bow to be her younger brother. I know my mom had a cat, and when she got a dog, the dog would follow the cat around, and act as if it was the leader.

    1. Yes, Julia, I think you are right. We adopted Leo as a puppy, and when he came here, Bow was already past puberty. Teyman had been with us for four months before I adopted Bow, and she seemed to always consider him a usurper.

      In Brownie's case, it is also a little different. Brownie adopted us when he was already two. So by then he was grown, and though Bow preceded him into the family, Brownie never really took to Bow, though he is less aggressive toward Bow than Teyman was.