When Gracie joined my household at the end of 2013, she had a built-in playmate in Oakley, my ten-year-old Golden Retriever.
Despite the age and size differential, the two became inseparable companions. They romped in the backyard, sniffed out voles under the snow, and joined me for walks through the neighborhood.
But Oakley was already an old dog and was going blind when Gracie entered the scene. Oakley died when Gracie was just turning two. While she was just fine as an "only," at times I wished she had a playmate.
Enter Rosie, a five-month-old mini-Goldendoodle owned by my friend Mary. Rosie's a beautiful, copper-colored pup and I looked forward to the time when Rosie and Gracie could meet for a playdate.
That happened a couple weeks ago. The two dogs spent their first few minutes circling, checking each other out, and making lots of dog sounds.
Next, they jumped into the chair and continued to check each other out from the comfort of Mary's lap.
Then the play began in earnest. Lots of dog play is about gaining dominance over the other, and that was the case with Gracie and Rosie too.
It looks like Rosie won the first round with her squishing Gracie in the first take-down.
They expended lots of energy in their play and took a few breaks to drink water, pant, and continue sizing each other up.
Then they went at it again, playing mouth with each other. Notice who has the dominant position again. Sometimes older dogs defer to puppies in play. I'm not sure if that was happening here, or whether Rosie had the upper hand with Gracie.
When the afternoon playtime was over, each dog was thoroughly spent. Rosie sure is a cutie, and it's nice for the two "onlies" to have a playmate of the same gentle breed and size. I can see them becoming fast friends.