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Karen brought Roy for a playdate today.  Fortunately for Holly and Roy it was a cool day outside.  The two of them wrestled and ran for a couple hours.  There were times when Holly was too pooped to play.  Her way of telling Roy she was done was to lay down under my lawn chair, next to Helen.  While Holly rested, Roy did a nice job of entertaining himself with Holly’s toys until Holly was ready for more play, or maybe it was that she couldn’t stand watching Roy play with her toys one more second.

Karen and I had a nice conversation about how our dogs play differently with each dog they meet.  There is an adjustment period but after some time, there is a play theme – and that play theme is different with different dogs.  Holly and Helen have a low play theme because Helen isn’t interested in being a playmate.  Rainie is in a similar category.  Holly and Keltie are all about chase, body tag and tug.  Holly and Kooper are indoor playmates with gentle mouth wrestling with an occasional game of tug.  Holly and Roy are outdoor body crashers and mouth wrestlers with an occasional chase and takedown.  They play hard and rest fast.  With all Holly’s dog friends, there doesn’t seem to be any challenge for dominance and I think it is because Holly freely relinquishes all ranks in the pecking order.   So long as the dog plays and plays nice, she is fine with being the lower rung on the ladder.  If the dog isn’t interested in playing or doesn’t play nice, she is fine with being the lower rung on the ladder and will find somewhere else to be.

It is so good that Holly has a variety of friends in her life.  It helps her gain confidence and give her a sense of purpose and community, in short it makes her happy. She likely is saying that exact same thing about me!