Video taken 30 December 2010

After nine months together, this is the most that Bowpi has ever tried to play with Bowdu. Those of you with rambunctious puppies and dogs that tumble all over the house are going to watch this video and say Uh, so what?

Well, it’s a big deal to me. It’s a big deal for both of them, too.

The most they usually do is take naps on the futon together (without touching), or get really excited and circle and bump each other when it’s time to go to the park or when someone comes home. But they don’t really interact.

Bowdu seldom plays properly, preferring to roughhouse and play tug-of-war with blankets and ropes with the humans — these are totally NOT Bowpi’s games. So when she reached out to “bop” him on the head and he responded with a playful bounce, this was a new level of engagement for both of them. This continued for half a minute before and after the video, but they didn’t keep it up before parting directions again.

Bowpi is shaking and throwing all sorts of nervous/calming signals (like the sneeze) because I think she’s usually a little afraid of Bowdu, who is very vocal when he plays, at the same time that she WANTS to be accepted by him. Actually, she behaves the same way, reaching out with her paws to me or the Doggy Daddy when we come home. She stretches her forelegs towards us, and then we pet her, and she quivers a little with excitement with her ears pinned back. Then she spins in a tight little circle and reaches out again for more attention.

Sure, other dogs will paw at you for attention. Bowdu does this too, sometimes. But sometimes I think Bowpi’s really using those front legs as arms — which the Doggy Daddy had to remind me, dogs don’t really have…