Playing

I’ve owned Stella for over ten years now and Achilles for almost seven. For all of that time they have gotten along well and been good play partners. Stella is the more assertive of the two so Achilles’ more deferential temperament is a good complement. Having said that Achilles is often the one to instigate play sessions.

Beng older now (Achilles who knows, our best guess is ten with Stella being almost eleven) they play less. It’s interesting to see how Achilles uses his 20 pound size/weight atvantage to push missy dog around while Stella counteracts with her quickness, darting and boxing. Sometimes Achilles would (and still does) simply butt-tuck and race around the yard, zooming up to and past a nearly stationary Stella. I came across this sequence from March 2010.

Chili Dog circles in. Stella waits, hackles slightly raised yet ears and mouth relaxed.DSCF4407

Full speed and flat out he reaches the speed of sound. Zoom zoom. Hackles up but Stella’s facial and head expression was still playful. Achilles swept past and came in for one (or more?) strafing runs.

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I’ve learned a lot about canine body language. The unknowing might watch them play and conclude that at times they are angry, fierce, blood is about to fly. I’ve never seen that. They growl, fling themselves at one another yet it’s play. When Stella has had enough she snaps and briefly chases Achilles; he understands and stops.