"Are they buddies now? Because they look like they are." I paused before replying to my Sister's question, "Kiiiind of." But I thought about it afterwards as well as the iphone photo that I had sent her. Certainly, they were practically snuggled up together in it. Could my long held wishes be finally coming true?
It has been two years since we adopted Kipling. And amazingly - at least to me - his relationship to Remi and I as well as with our other dog Ben is still evolving. Two years is a long time and we certainly have had some surprising setbacks since moving to this tiny village as it has brought out in Kipling an even more aggressive attitude towards outsiders (dogs, cats and humans included) that we had seen in Arles. We have had some harrowing moments, I will admit. But gentle Ben, ever the ambassador of Good Hearts, has been utterly determined to reassure Kip and to teach him the one factor to being "a happy and healthy" dog that has been missing from the list: to play. I have seen it over and over these past few months, Ben will shake his toys in Kipling's face and do everything within his ken to initiate a bit of rough and tumble. And Ben is the farthest thing from a rough and tumble dog! He is clearly doing it out of love and concern for his companion.
Remi has been telling me that it is starting to catch on but I wanted to have so some sort of photographic proof before talking about this with you all. So imagine my delight upon re-entering the courtyard the other day (luckily with camera in hand) to find Ben pointedly staring at me as if to say, "Watch this!"
Ben barely knows how to fake growl - bless his heart - but apparently it is enough to get Kipling worked up into a round of whoofs and whoos.
And then, it began. Ben pulled his signature move of throwing the front half of his body down to the ground while Kipling shook his head with joy (something he picked up from Ben) and excitement.
I wish you could know how incredibly happy these photos make me.
For Remi was right. Kip clearly has a few moves of his own. Such as sitting on your opponent...
...and something that he has done to me: gently gnawing on my arm as if to chase away fleas! Gnar, gnar, gnar, gnar...
Can you see Ben looking up at me during a pause in the action? He is clearly so proud of himself. As he should be.
And so, it is a start. It has been fascinating to see how these two adult male dogs inform each other - Kipling encouraging Ben to be more of a "guy guy" and Ben coaching Kip to be more trusting. And I am sure that this evolution isn't over yet...
...but one thing that I do know is that I am glad that you are here Kip.
We love you, crazy rascal! Petit fripouille!
Kipling's story is quite something and for all of the new folks here (Thank you!), you might want to take a look at:
Sending out wishes of Love, Health and Safety for all of our four-legged friends around the world.
What would our lives be like without them?