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Holly and Helen are often with each other.  They are together for car rides, walks, and sleeping.  They eat at the same time and take potty breaks together.  They are good buddies, not necessarily best friends – yet.  Their definition of play are polar opposites and that annoys Helen more than Holly.  Helen’s occasional frustration with Holly’s exurberence is fuel for more of the same, though the raspy growls that come from little Helen’s mouth do persuade Holly to step back about a foot, just out of reach of Helen’s snappers.

Holly and Gracie are also together, as in sharing space in a room.  Lately there has been more interaction between the two, whether it be a game of chase enticed by Gracie or a game of paw & swat enticed by Holly.  During the down time, nudges and nuzzling have been happening.   Their relationship is fully controlled by Gracie and whether she is in the mood to be entertained.

Helen and Gracie coexist peacefully and have a mutual agreement to ignore each other.  Lately I’ve seen a few glances and meeting of the eyes, but no interest in pursuing anything deeper.  They also share a mutual feeling toward Holly and I can see delight in one when the other has taken initiative to put Holly in her place with either a snap or swat.

So that leads to the combination of Holly, Helen & Gracie.  As the cooler and darker nights set in, so do all of us.  The three of them (and me) are spending more time inside and generally in the family room with the fireplace going.   Gracie often claims her spot in front of the fire, Holly and Helen both have conceded.  I’m starting to see the three of them in closer proximity.  I once thought getting the three of them in the same picture was a pipedream or a fluke.  Now I am able to do so routinely, not yet in a posed lined up fashion however.  Gracie is not good with her ‘stays’.   The dynamics are interesting as are each of their unique personalities.   I like to think that I am giving them the boundaries they need to stay safe, to learn civility and to grow their own personalities.

A favorite book of Deb’s was Unlikely Friendships, a collection of photos and stories of blended animal relationships.  I love the diversity, bonds, trust and sweetness of these published friendships.  And I love that I am surrounded by my own version of unlikely friendships in my own home.  And in many respects, my own life.