This is Lady’s first snowfall & she had a delightful time playing with Mollie in it. 3-yr-old Mollie, my room-mate’s dog, is an old-hand at snow — she’s lived a winter exploring Tahsis [further north up the Isle].
While Lady loves to swim all-year round, Mollie’s a real ‘whoose’ around the waves & will wait for Lady to retrieve the stick from the water. That’s the water-loving Lab in Lady — but Mollie also has Husky in her & loves to roll around in snow.
She’s also more aggressive than Lady so she can seem a bit overpowering sometimes. But, no worries, Lady can certainly hold her own — she’s even learning to ‘talk’ & play-growl like Mollie.
😛 It can look pretty scary, though, with both of them baring teeth & lunging for delicate body parts like the neck or leg. But they are both ‘holding back’ & their teeth do not bite in — this is play-time for dogs. No-one gets seriously hurt — if one of them does happen to nip a bit too hard, the other dog immediately lets the other one know with a louder, rougher growl & a short stoppage of play. Then, play continues as before with the offender not repeating the same mistake.
I saw this behaviour between Lady & her sister after the birth of Princess’s pups. I’m sure it had seemed to Lady that her sister had not been playing with her for a long time but finally the day came that Princess was running & playing much like they were used to. Still, Princess had sensitive, heavy teats & it didn’t take long before Lady learned she had to be gentle around that area — a couple of sharp retorts from her sister took care of that.
And Lady continued to be careful until several weeks later when the pups were weaned off Mom — then the sisters’ play was a little rougher again.
Dogs also adjust their bite when playing with humans — I’m sure they think we’re really delicate because we can’t take it nearly as hard as their fellow canine friends! Once a dog learns, as a pup, not to bite hard enough to make me yell ‘ouch’ [yes, sometimes there’s a little bloodletting — mine!], then he/she will never bite me too hard when we’re playing.
That’s when I’m bare-handed. Both Lady & Mollie get rougher & bite harder when I play my favourite game with them — I wiggle my fingers [sometime toes] under a blanket & they try to catch ‘the prey’ before it scurries away [or hides completely, hee hee]. Sometimes, it can be a bit difficult not to get ‘caught’ & boy, they really bite a lot harder — amazingly, they adjust their bite depending on the thickness of the blanket [or maybe it’s the number of ‘ouches’ that spring forth from me!].
Wonderful winter fun — inside & out.
😛 Thanks to Mark Bryant for the photos today. 🙂 And no, Mollie is not part werewolf! 🙂