A Dog’s Play Skills

In Finding friends, Shelley Widhalm, The importance of play on August 4, 2013 at 11:30 am

Zoey plays with her golden retriever friend, Sophie.

Zoey plays with her golden retriever friend, Sophie.

Why I like playing with other dogs is actually a question I can’t answer.

You see, I don’t like playing with other dogs unless they are my size or smaller. And then the playtime is short in duration, because I’m not really that interested.

Despite how I feel, Shelley, my BFF, takes me to PetSmart’s doggie day care, which is nice of her and all, but I want to be hanging out with the people, not the dogs. Though doggie day camp is about dogs playing with each other, I desire that the staff people only pay attention to me.

When Shelley took me there late last month, I engaged in the butt sniffing, “hello” routine with a couple of small dogs, but then I went into the play slide structure where I could hide. It took me awhile to warm up, though I preferred following staff around and getting their attention to playing with other dogs.

My attitude is evident in the “Pawgress Reports” PetSmart provides at the end of each day care session. Typically, mine report that I hang back, act loving with the staff and do not eat (I don’t eat when my routine is interrupted).

Here are some examples of comments from my reports:

• Zoey loved playing with Oliver the Bichon and Cocoa the Morkie. We love this sweet princess.
• She loved hanging out with the smaller dogs, making good friends with Maggie, a schnauzer.
• She loved day care today. She made a new friend, Cricket the Papillion. She also loved the attention from our associates.
• She unfortunately didn’t have any buddies her size to play with today. She was curious about a larger beagle mix but didn’t want to play with him. She spent a lot of time hanging out with the associates getting a lot of attention.
• She loved all her little pals today. Her new best friend was a tiny Chihuahua named Paris. They stuck together like glue. And, of course, she loved getting attention from the staff.
• She loved getting attention from the staff. She is definitely a people dog.

Do you notice a pattern here? I love, just love getting attention, the people kind, not so much the dog kind.

But at the end of the day (hah, I’m achieving a double entendre in a cliché) when Shelley picks me up, I wiggle my tail, excited to see her but also to get back home. And every time she drops me off, I cling and lean into her.

Don’t make me go, but then I get used to my new place and make due.


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