Monday, May 12, 2008

Highlights from the big Sophie/Augusta match last week.

Another classic bout--Sophie employed her usual tactic of allowing a smaller opponent to topple her into the dirt and straddle her for long periods, probably necessitating a bath for Sophie later on. You'd almost think she enjoyed the mock-tussling so much, it doesn't matter to her who's on top. But it's all a cunning strategy. I believe she calls it the "soap-a-dope".

Ocean the Aussie Shepherd served as self-appointed referee, as he so often does. At points, he seemed to be questioning the wisdom of his chosen profession

I look at the pictures I take of play-battles at the run after I get home, and I invariably am struck by how convincingly violent they look. It's like perusing stills from a nature documentary. Yet when you're there, it's self-evident that both dogs are having the time of their lives, and don't want the 'fight' to end.

No question, playfights can escalate into real fights, with some dogs, in some instances. But to paraphrase Mark Twain, "Show me a dog who knows what's fun, and I'll show you a dog who knows what isn't." Like bite wounds, for example. There's a difference between showing your teeth and seriously using them--Sophie & Augusta have proven many times that they know the difference. With or without a referee. But don't tell Ocean.

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