Val, a Labrador retriever that now hunts in the happy hunting grounds, was a very happy dog. She had a smile on her face most of the time, until she got so old that everything ached.
My young lab, Lola, was very fond of Val. Val tolerated Lola and even warmed up to her after a while. Lola is all dog, she likes humans, but (I think) she prefers the company of dogs.
A morning ritual at my house was for Val to retrieve the newspaper. She was good at it and I’d give her a treat after she brought me the paper. Lola would just stand and watch. On occation, I attempted to get Lola to retrieve the paper while Val was alive. She wouldn’t do it. She’d just watch Val and beg for a treat of her own.
I worried a little about how Lola would react when Val was no longer around. Sometimes dogs react very negatively when the leader of the pack disappears.
After Val was gone, Lola was a little down, but after about a week she seemed to perk up.
When I awoke this morning, I laid in bed and actually thought about Lola’s attitude. For one thing, a happy dog is a better hunter and companion. Now it’s been over two months since Val’s departure and I’ve been a little conerned about Lola’s attitude. She seems serious all the time and hasn’t been flashing her dog smile that is very charming.
On the other hand, she has started retrieving the morning paper, something she never did while Val was alive. This morning, I opened the gate and pointed her to the paper. She darted to it, picked it up and ran back to me – dropping it at my feet and flashing her dog smile.
I guess she’s doing OK.