Story: Foggy Doggies

While his torn toenail heals, Tucker is on restricted activity. Every time I take the dogs outside, Jasper and Lilah  run around the yard, but Tucker has to stay on the leash. Ever the terrier, he would play through the pain until he hurt himself much worse. This is not an unusual occurrence; the dog plays hard and sometimes winds up on the injured list. Thus, Tucker stays tethered.

When one of the dogs isn’t allowed to play, the dynamic of the group changes. In a previous post, I mentioned how Jasper will zoom by Tucker, knowing he can’t follow, and Lilah will tease him with a disingenuous invitation to play. On some level, I can’t blame them; Tucker is the instigator, like an annoying kid brother, always piling on and playing just a little too rough, without understanding appropriate doggy etiquette. 

Yet once they’ve had their laughs, Jasper and Lilah begin their own games. It’s just the two of them, and they act quite different than when Tucker joins in. With three dogs, there is often a two versus one aspect to the play–though not always in the same roles. When it’s just the two of them, Jasper and Lilah focus on each other, harkening back to the time BT: Before Tucker.

On a recent foggy morning, I took some photos while Jasper and Lilah played, and Tucker stood next to me wishing he could join in.

As it is with kids on a playground, it often begins with a simple, “Will you play with me?”

Jasper invites Lilah to a game of Chase, bowing and running.

Jasper invites Lilah to a game of Chase, bowing and running.

Lilah’s Border Collie nature becomes more obvious when she plays. She controls the game with her eyes, letting the other dog do the work. She’ll jump at Jasper and he’ll start running, while she stays in one place, watching.

Jasper Lilah fog 2

Jasper Lilah fog 3

Jasper Lilah fog 4

Jasper comes back and asks again. “Please?”

C'mon. I want to play.

C’mon. I want to play.

And the games begin.

Though he outweighs her two to one, it’s usually Jasper who’s the chasee, with Lilah at his heels. Jasper’s long legs give him a basic speed advantage as well, but Lilah is a strategic player, cutting corners and heading to various safe spots under the bushes where Jasper doesn’t have easy access.

The chase begins!

Jasper Lilah fog 6

After a few circuits of the yard, the dogs will stop for a break.

Taking a breather

Until, rested, they start all over.

Want to play again?


And every once in a while, they check in to see if Mom’s still there.

Hi Mom!

Hi Mom!


Do you have multiple dogs–or maybe your dog has friends at the dog park? How does play change depending on who is playing? Or where?

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15 Comments on "Story: Foggy Doggies"

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  1. slimdoggy says:

    Thanks for sharing the photos. Neither Jack or Maggie are big players and before that we had seniors, so we haven’t had any dog playing for years…unfortunately. Thanks for sharing the photos.

    • Thanks for stopping by. I once had a dog who was completely uninterested in playing. He wouldn’t even play with toys. Then we got a puppy–and she taught him how to play. It was very sweet. 😉

  2. That looks like loads of fun!

  3. Jen K says:

    Great action shots!
    Moses and Alma have different preferred play styles, for sure. Alma accommodates Moses by wrestling with him, but if given the opportunity to run around with another dog, she’s all over it.

    • My Lilah will play with anyone inside our yard. In the dog park, she’s indifferent. Jasper doesn’t like to play with anyone but his siblings. In a dog park, he’ll just walk up to all the humans and look unloved ’til they pet him. And Tucker just wants to play with Jasper–whether his older brother wants to or not. 😀

  4. Flea says:

    I only have the two dogs, brother and sister litter-mates. They’re nearly 12, but they play like puppies still. Interestingly, they take turns being chaser and chasee, but the sister is more often the instigator. Well, half the time I’m the one encouraging their games of chase and bitey face, knowing they enjoy it and that the activity is good for them.

    • Love that your babies still play at 12. Sometimes I have to get my dogs started, too. I run with them and jump at them, and once they start running, anyone can chase anyone. Then I step back and let them play. 😀

  5. Mr. N and Onyxx usually play together but when we met up with a friend’s Chihuahua, the two Chihuahuas were into each other and Mr. N got left out. He was sad.

    • Aw, poor Mr. N. When all 3 of my dogs play, it’s usually Lilah who gets left out, or is the chasee. Tucker adores Jasper (much to Jasper’s dismay; he doesn’t get it), and will jump all over him. Lilah would love to romp with Tucker if he was interested, but all he wants to do is play with Jasper, who would rather play with Lilah.

  6. They look like they are having a blast. I think its so funny how they play hard then both stop to catch a breather then back at it.

  7. Poor Tucker

    Hopefully it won’t be long until you’re able to join in again too buddy!

    My Mum never lets me off the lead at the regular park (only the dog park) as she doesn’t ‘trust’ me – doh! She also won’t let Cosmo (who always comes with us) as he’s our neighbor dog and she worries in case anything goes wrong – Cosmo always wants to join in with other dogs who are running around, I just act all cool like I’m not really bothered! Tee Hee

    I hope you’re having a fun day,

    Your pal Snoopy 🙂

    • Thanks for stopping by! Jasper, Lilah and Tucker are only leash-free in our yard and at the dog park. I don’t trust ’em, either. Just one squirrel or deer within sniffing distance and they’d run off. The only exception was when Jasper starred in a movie. I had to train him to do a specific task, off-leash, in a park. I was nervous the whole time.

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