Breakthrough

Our household has had a wonderful breakthrough. Riley and Lucy are playing. Let me give you a little background on Riley and why this is so important.

I found Riley when he was 6 months old and 28 pounds. He was a happy, carefree, loving dog. Even as he matured into a 70 pound bullie/lab mix, he loved to go to the dog park and play with all the dogs. Then, one day, he got attacked by a Rottweiler and a Great Dane team. Thankfully, he wasn’t hurt. But it affected him psychologically. Ever after that, he has been not only suspicious of other dogs, but would jump them. He never hurt any of them, but we sure didn’t need someone reporting an aggressive bullie mix! Plus, I didn’t want anyone else to be psychologically damaged like Riley had been.

It should be noted that he never jumped or tried to hurt Lexi or any other “frequent visitor” at our house. He has always especially loved Piper, my schnauzer nephew. I know Lexi thought of Riley as her bothersome, younger, big brother, but never showed any signs of fear. You can see them together in the  header.

He became my son, Andrew’s, dog about 3 years ago. They are totally bonded, just like Lexi and I were. Recently, Andrew and Riley have come to stay with us for a while. I have been monitoring Riley and Lucy very carefully, as I only wanted good experiences for them both. Last night, Lucy’s sweet disposition and pleas to play finally won out. It started with them in the hallway outside my husband’s home office. Riley dropped into the play position. Lucy appropriately responded with the same posture. They went back and forth like that for about three minutes. Then they moved it to the living room where they had more room to maneuver, with Jeff following to be sure all continued to go well. These two big dogs played hard for 10 or 15 minutes until I broke it up with praises and treats. They played for a bit longer after that, when I stopped them for the night while it was still happy play. I managed to film some of it.

Today they are back at it again. They went into the fenced back yard and did the “buddy” thing – walking together, standing together, running and playing together. Lucy is thrilled to have a playmate, and even Riley seems much happier. It didn’t take me long to decide I would rather have a full heart than a clean house.

riley-lucy-resting-from-play

Riley and Lucy resting from hard play