Isn’t it interesting how sometimes the passing of a beloved pet can bring about a change in one of that pet’s siblings? I wrote the majority of this post back in January, less than a week after Ducky’s second emergency vet clinic visit (for her IBD). The drastic change in her bratitude didn’t last very long, but it did soften a bit.
Now, heading into the third week since Callie transitioned to the spiritual world, Ducky has – for the most part – been trying to become Shadow’s friend. She no longer sees Shadow as a threat to her own relationship with Callie, I suppose. She was jealous of their relationship, thus her snarkiness toward the less assertive one of the two. Poor Shadow often felt left out of their games, and would bark at them as if to say “I wanna play too!” But when the games were over, Callie always laid down next to Shadow and groomed her face, nuzzled her, and otherwise let her know that Ducky could not come between them. Now Shadow doesn’t know what to make of Ducky’s overtures. She misses her older sister. And her younger sister is suddenly treating her differently. She’s confused. And she has been looking to me for answers. I try to reassure her that Ducky is trying to be nice.
The “history” between Shadow and Ducky will take some time to heal, but it seems Ducky is trying to do her part. Hopefully, Shadow will begin to accept her younger sister’s friendship in the not-too-distant future. Meanwhile, here’s the part I wrote back in January…
Well, hubby and I got the surprise of our (recent) lives last night! Something new in Ducky’s attitude — or as I call it, her bratitude — toward Shadow.
Those of you who have been following our blog for a while know that Ducky has a possessive streak in her that always seems to target Shadow whenever there is a toy between Shadow’s two front paws. Many times we have witnessed loud, snarky arguments between them because Ducky wants the toy that Shadow has simply because Shadow has it. Ducky is anything but shy when it comes to taking what she wants from her older sister. That is why, when we first adopted her, we started calling her “demon dog”. We say it lovingly and with much affection now, but back then was another story.
That is not to say that Shadow was always the “innocent victim”. There have been times when she proactively warned Ducky away and Ducky took it as a challenge; but, for the most part, Shadow reacted as some older siblings do, with an indignant “oh no you don’t! that’s mine!” response.
Last night we saw a new, different, cautious side of Ducky that surprised us. Shadow had one of three identical Nylabone toys between her front paws. Instead of just stealing it as usual, Ducky cautiously approached Shadow three different times. Almost as though she was afraid of how Shadow might react. Finally, Shadow just got up and came to the side of my chair, as if to tell Ducky “you can have it, I’m done with it”. Ducky quickly grabbed the toy before Shadow could change her mind and started chewing on it.
What caused this “new” Ducky to emerge? A sudden maturation process? Maybe. I think it might just be that since she hasn’t been feeling well since New Year’s Eve, she was just not willing to risk a fight that would put her “in the dog house” with Mama and Daddy. (Don’t worry, she’s okay.) So, here’s a snapshot of Ducky with her “new” attitude. (I wonder how long it will last?)
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