Monday, November 15, 2010

Upside-Down Play

Dog Blog Post #155: How you play with someone 1/3 your size?

It seems “on your back” is the answer my older boys come up with when dealing with the puppies in their lives.

Uncle Beau instigated play with Zachary by flopping over on his back and writhing around like an upside-down snake. He started this when Zachary was an itty-bitty puppy and he just never outgrew the behavior.

I don’t know whether he figured, “if it ain’t broke, don’t fix it,” or if it never occurred to him that Zachary was actually an adult! I suppose it doesn’t really matter, as it had the desired effect: Zachary would come running, jump on top and a friendly game of bitey-face would commence.

Fast-forward to Zachary and Henry, and I see the exact same behavior. Now it’s Uncle Zachary writhing around on his back, and young Henry on the offense.

The cutest moments, for me, are when both end up on their backs, wiggling around with all four paws in the air. This seems to happen either at the start of play (if both are still sleepy) or at the end (when both are tired.)

Henry growls, barks, and snaps at the air while Uncle Zachary just opens his mouth wide and shows off his shiny-white teeth. Their paws are limp, their tails are relaxed, and their eyes are soft and squinty. It’s obvious this is something they both enjoy, even though the attraction is lost on me.

So it was tonight, as I was making dinner.

Of course, they have to draw me into the game, mostly by playing right underneath me so I am constantly stepping over some body part or another. Tonight, realizing my efforts to reach the stove were being neatly thwarted, I grabbed my camera and banged off a few shots.

You can even see where Henry has lost a tooth in the square photo (cropped and blown up from one of the pictures above!)

(Aside: I uploaded  Henry's latest video tonight, showing his progress learning "Show Dog Stand"!)

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