I’ve often described the age difference between Blacky and Luci as having a teenager and a toddler in the house. Blacky is 7½ years old and Luci is 1. Before Luci arrived, Blacky was used to being the youngest dog in the house and was the center of attention. Goldie was 8 years old when he moved in with us and since he as so little (he was only 4 weeks old), she fussed over him like a mommy dog. So not only did he get lots of attention from Hubby and I, he got lots of attention from Goldie.
When Luci arrived, he suddenly became the Big Brother and had to share all the attention with this new pushy little thing. He wasn’t happy. As a matter of fact, Blacky took to his doggie bed for the entire first week that Luci lived with us. He only came down to eat and go to the bathroom. The second week, he would come down every so often to sniff the air and to look at her but he would go back upstairs if she got too close to him. By the third week, he would at least stay in the same room with her. By the end of the first month, he would let her lay on his doggie bed with him . . . as long as we weren’t watching. As soon as he saw us, he would move away from her so that we didn’t think that he actually "liked" the new little thing that had invaded his house.
Luci loves her Big Brother and likes to tag along behind Blacky and follow him everywhere. When she was a tiny puppy, she could easily walk underneath Blacky. That made him mad because he didn’t see her until it was too late and he would step on her or knock her down. Blacky is a gentle soul and didn’t want to hurt the little puppy – even if she annoyed him – so he would turn and look at me with this "Mmmoooommmm, maaakkkeee hhheeerrr ssstooopp fffooolllooowwwiiinggg mmmmeee" look that broke my heart and made me laugh at the same time.
Now that she’s a little older and has settled down a little bit, he’s more tolerant of her now than he was when she was a tiny puppy. There are still times when she gets on his last nerve and he has to assert some Big Brother Authority to get her attention – and to get her to leave him alone. There are still times when Blacky will give me that "I had a good life until you brought her home." look. Usually when she’s trying to get him to play with her and she’s jumping on him and tugging on his ears. But he’s also very protective of his little sister. He makes sure that she’s always included when treats or snacks are involved – and she does the same for him. He has to check her over every time we come back from our evening excursions. He’s also teaching her about chasing bunnies and squirrels and barking at the mailman. All the things a Big Brother is supposed to do.