Two days ago, at the dog park, I could not help but laugh at my twelve and a half year old lab. Abby was delighted to see Toby, a very large white Shepard. In his presence she completely forgets she is a “senior” and becomes a pup again. The behaviour I see is always predictable when she fancies another dog.
Abby shows all the outward signs of being interested – going up close to the other dog’s face, tail up and wagging very fast, ears perked, and often does a play bow in front of her idol. Sometimes she exerts a high yip from her mouth, followed by moving her body spinning in circles to “show off” her youth and inviting a playful interaction. In brief episodes she will go up on her back legs and “box” the air or leap on Toby who is two and half times her size and encourage some all-star wrestling. When this happens I often think she is equal to Betty White, the spunky actress who never seems her age!
I thought it might be fun to create a Personal Ad that Abby would write regarding her “type” or dream date. I certainly have some idea after all these years! We had fun at our dinner table creating the following.
“I am a natural blonde bitch who is young at heart with beautiful brown eyes. I am seeking others who are early risers or foodies, those who love to swim and to go exploring on walks in all four seasons. They must enjoy laying in the sun on dreamy summer days and spending time with family. A love of fireworks, loud thunder, guitar music or vacuums need not apply as all those make me nervous. I especially like husky types, white shepherds, and senior labs of any colour. I am open to all dog types – pure or mixed breeds, if you are friendly and don’t come on too strong on our first date. I don’t have a lot of patience for young puppies with high energy levels at my age. I look forward to meeting you! Love, City Girl.”
I do wonder what makes a dog have a shining to another. It is amazing to watch at a dog park the dynamics. Certainly a lot is attributed to the pooches reading each other’s signals – like speed dating there can be an instant attraction!
I do think a large portion of chemistry is scent and we know how that gets checked out right off the bat! Then their body signals, and game on. It can be a shared love of a ball being tossed or a game of chase in action that draws in a dog. Others go for the familiarity of a canine buddy seen on a regular basis – those who take comfort in playtime without surprises. I have even witnessed many times a pack of only one colour dogs running/playing together. This cannot be a coincidence as there are many others at the off leash to draw from!
Maybe your dog’s type is another dog on your street or in your building if you live in an apartment or condo. You and the other owner are great friends so it makes it easy for the dogs to hang out and have fun. Just the sight of one another is exciting for them.
Sometimes family members have dogs that are “the right fit,” socially as companions. Memories are made at family reunions with dogs reconnecting or through time at a cottage. The holidays year round present other opportunities for our dogs to maybe play/visit with an old friend who might be a favourite.
Does your dog go for breeds similar to itself or for a polar opposite? Is there a definite similarity to the favourite type regarding fur, age, height, young or old? Perhaps dogs with the same kind of traits like another water-loving dog, stick chewer, runner/herder, squirrel/hunter, barker or level of sociability.
The beauty is, like their two-legged owners, dogs have countless “types” they like – big or small, fat or skinny, a lot of hair or very little hair, introverts or extroverts, active or inactive etc. Most importantly, however, dogs and humans have the ability to be loved and to give love back.
What would your dog’s ad say?
This guest post was written by Becky White, founder of the Dogs Twenty Four Seven Blog — Becky is a dog walker and lives with her husband, their two daughters and family dogs Abby and Ember in Toronto. Becky has been a dog lover all of her life and feels now is the right time to share her stories, experiences and adventures. You can also find Becky on Twitter and Facebook.