I have a brand new dog. She is 10 years old, and I've had her since she was 8 weeks, but she's still a brand new dog. (I'll call her the Blue Dog.) You see, we mysteriously lost our other dog (the Red Dog) last summer. She disappeared without a trace. When the Red Dog went away, the Blue Dog changed.
There was no way to foresee what would happen. The Red Dog did not enjoy the good health my Blue Dog always has, so I expected she would 'go' first. I just didn't expect it to happen in such a way. I thought, foolish woman that I am, that the Blue Dog would be morose to lose her long-time sister. Not so! She is overjoyed to be an only child at last.
I always regarded the Blue Dog as a tyrant and, candidly, a bitch. She spent all of her waking hours demonstrating her authority. She never wanted to be handled or fussed over, because the Red Dog would stick her chubby rump right in the middle of any situation and demand attention. To tell you the truth, I never realized what a good dog the Blue Dog really could be.
One thing about the Red Dog that made her special: you just never saw a dog get into chewing like she did. Even as a full-grown dog, and past the years of chewing up things she shouldn't, she still loved chewing like you wouldn't believe. Give her a bone, and she didn't just enjoy it, she lusted after it. Yes, folks, it was absolute bone-sex for her. She would lay on her back, with her eyes rolled blissfully back into her head, and she would work that bone around in her mouth in perfect ecstasy. Words do not do it justice.
So I don't get to laugh at my Red Dog and her fixation anymore. But I have a brand new Blue Dog. She let me brush her entire coat yesterday. That is the FIRST time in her 10 years she has permitted such a thing. She acts like she actually gives a darn what I think. That, too, is a whole new thing. It's really quite remarkable. I can't help but wonder what those years would have been like if she'd been an only child all along.