Blacky has the most gentle soul I’ve ever seen in a dog. He’s never deliberately misbehaved ever. Never dug in the yard. Never rushed out the front door. Never messed in the house. Never chews anything he’s not supposed to. He’s loving, obedient, and eager to please. He’s a perfect dog. He’s also a very active dog. He loves to run for the pure joy of running. He’ll play fetch until he’s so out of breath that he can’t walk another step.
His activity level, though, dropped off considerably about the time that Luci came to live with us. I figured it was because of the sudden loss of Goldie and the emotional mess that I was during that time. Then, not two weeks later, we introduce this little bundle of energy that completely took over the household. He adapted well to all the changes (which surprised me because Blacky normally doesn’t do well with changes to his routine), learned how to be the Big Brother instead of the Little Brother, and learned how to stand up for himself when Luci invaded his personal space or interfered with "his" time with Mommy and Daddy.
The one thing that never really quite bounced back was his activity level. It seemed like he was happy to sit on the sidelines and watch me play fetch with Luci, or wrestle on the floor with Daddy. We would try to get him involved in what we were doing with Luci, and he would be interested but I could tell his heart just wasn’t in it. I wondered if it was a combination of his age (he’s 7½ now) and his arthritis, but he wasn’t having any problems getting around. I couldn’t figure out what was going on. In the last few months, though, I’ve noticed that he’s getting more active. He’s more willing to play fetch with me. He’s romping through the back yard and wrestling with Luci. They’re chasing each other though the house. He’s not just sitting on the sidelines anymore. It finally dawned on me what was going on. Blacky was watching out for his little sister. It was like he knew that Luci was just a little puppy and that he had to be careful around her. He was waiting for her to get bigger so that they could play together. He’s realized that she’s just as big as he is now and that annoying little puppy is now somebody that he can play with.
I watch the two of them running and playing in the back yard and it makes me very happy. My boy dog is back to his normal happy self. Watch out, Luci, I think Blacky’s about to give you a run for your money.