It occurred to me, as I was re-reading some of the earlier Spriggan posts, that I never really described her current relationship with Pixie.
They started off a tad rocky, Pixie having no particular interest in being a big sister and Spriggan having “OH MY GOD SO MUCH INTEREST YOU’RE THE BEST DOG EVER I LOVE YOU CAN I BITE YOUR EAR LEMME KILL YOUR TAIL FOR YOU WANNA PLAY??!?!?!?” … In those early days, I started to wonder if they’d ever really get to the point where they could be left alone, or if I’d always have to worry that Spriggan would try a little too hard and Pixie would just whirl around and snap off her little head.
Luckily, those worries have long since abated. Pixie is a very loving, if not terribly enthusiastic auntie, and her novelty, for Spriggan, has finally waned to about a 7 on the Mr. Jitters Scale of Hyperactive Excitement. (Selkie, by the way, is still about a 12 out of 10.)
It started with Pixie modeling good behavior: walking her outside, showing her where to pee, walking her back inside, staying in front of the house and out of the side yard while Spriggan’s out there playing, going to bed when she’s told, chewing only on toys and not furniture, etc. I realized it’s pretty wonderful to have an older dog to show a younger dog the ropes; they really seem to benefit from following their peers instead of trying to figure out what the hell you want from them.
Then, I realized it’d been a really long time since Pixie snapped at Spriggan. Sometimes, she was just too tired and resigned to do anything about the puppy needleteeth in her tail, but much of the time it seemed like her tolerance for obnoxious behavior was just getting stronger. Also, Spriggan, as she matures, isn’t quite as obnoxious in the first place, and she’s figured out what she can get away with.
Then they started playing with toys together. I can’t really express to you how adorable I find this. Pixie will play tug-o’-war SO GENTLY; I mean, she could easily fling Spriggan across the living room with a flick of her head, but instead she just tugs, softly, clenching the toy lightly between her front teeth. And there are a few toys Pixie isn’t allowed to play with, ’cause she’d destroy them with extreme prejudice, and she’s learned which ones those are and mostly has the willpower to leave them alone. (Spriggan, however, is very cruel about this, and she’ll run right under Pixie with a forbidden toy, or drop it on her muzzle, or tear around the house with it in a “Chase me, chase me!” fashion, and Pixie still abstains.)
I’m not yet at the point where I want Spriggan to sleep in Pixie’s crate with her while I’m out of the house, but they’re pretty great pals. I think most of the infatuation comes from Spriggan, but Pixie’s getting to be genuinely warm toward her, apologizing with a deluge of kisses when she accidentally steps on her or something.