Having been an “only dog” owner for awhile, I was very interested to see how Mocca behaved when my parent’s brought a new puppy home. Mocca spends a lot of time at my parent’s, as they take care of her when I go out of town. While Maggie (a Nova Scotia Duck Tolling Retriever) was very young, Mocca was not too thrilled. She spent a lot of time outside, away from the small terror. Over time though, they seem to have gotten used to each other.
Maggie is now 6 months old, and although Mocca still spends a lot of time with her head held high while Maggie jumps at her face, they also play together! The first playtime happened while at an agility trial. My dad was with me, and brought Maggie. We took the two of them to a field away from the trial and just ignored them for awhile to see what would happen. Sure enough, suddenly Mocca gave Maggie a “Play Bow” posture, and started enticing her to play. Once Maggie realized Mocca actually wanted to PLAY, she was ecstatic, and then the playing ensued. I think they wrestled with each for a good half hour until they were both breathless and looked quite happy and content! We were thrilled. (Plus I figured, it got Mocca wore out for our course and she might do well! Read about this trial here)
After that initial encounter, they now play happily whenever they are together. It’s so much fun to watch them interacting, and such a great way to burn a little energy for both of them. Here’s a video we took over the holidays:
The cats have been very interesting to watch as well! Kai, our 7 year old cat, had previously only had the company of two very senior cats to play with. So nothing much happened there. He would play on his own with a foam ball from time to time, and always loved a good game of Da Bird, but that was about it. When we brought Cirrhi (our Ocicat kitten) home, we were astonished by the change in Kai! Once he accepted her into the house (learn about this process here), they became fast friends, and spend most of their time together. They are forever found curled up on the bed together, eating together, or playing. It’s amazing how much Kai plays now – not only with Cirrhi but with all of her toys. In the past he ignored them, but not now. We are certain he taunts her with his tail…and she can never resist! Enjoy a video of them playing:
In the end, I think what we’ve seen makes a strong case for pets having a companion pet, or at least interaction with other pets often. It keeps them physically active and mentally active, which is so important. How many of you have more than one pet? Do you think their life is enriched because of it?