This series of shots was taken quite some time ago back when we used to be able to take Bella to a local field (before it became a "dog park"). I'd never seen Bella react to another dog in this way and, being fascinated by the whole thing, I just kept shooting. There are probably 10 dogs playing behind me and, as you can see, the approaching dog's owner was watching the situation carefully. As was I even though it was through the camera lens.
Note: I've added some of my own thoughts to the photos for a thoroughly not-wordless Wordless Wednesday. :\
|The first thing I noticed was the approaching dog kept looking away - a calming signal to the little runt watching him. Bella is interested but relatively relaxed in posture and ears.|
|Bella is getting a little intense here...|
|so the approaching dog veers off...|
|and Bella's posture immediately relaxes. (Note the lift of the head and relaxation of the ears.)|
|This is when I began to think Bella has some Border Collie in her. Not sure what the heck she's thinking here|
|or here but she's getting pretty intense.|
|Until wise old dog turns away again.|
|Look at the ears and position of her head now - she's relaxed, interested and curious. Big dog has completely turned away.|
|Bella's being such a punk in these next few pictures|
|but the big dog doesn't seem to be threatened by it|
|just continues approaching - but not directly -|
|Here I think he finally gives Bella a "watch it, kid" kind of look|
|and Bella responds appropriately.|
|Bella still seems unsure - note her body is weighted to her hind legs and leaning away, ready to bolt if necessary.|
|Finally gets a quick sniff in, big dog realizing he has more pressing concerns than the little twerp,|
|and Bella just moves along.|
|She remained fascinated with this big old boy acting very much like a puppy would with a parent dog, taking any reprimand in stride but continuing to seek out the older dog's attention. I've never seen her behave like this with any other dog.|
So sorry, I know that's a lot of pictures but I thought it was fascinating to watch the subtle markers on display between the frames by both Bella and the approaching dog.
A touch more background: Bella was just over a year old here and the approaching dog was upwards of 10, if I remember correctly. He was a calm, old patriarch apparently well-versed in puppy tom-foolery.
I'd love to hear everybody's thoughts.