You Were Right

Several weeks ago, I shared with you my confusion about our dogs, Stella and Riley, always being in the same dog bed, although we have 4 beds for them. ( 2 Dogs, 4 Dog Beds, and This? ) I asked what you thought of this and almost 100% of you said you believed Riley was being protective of Stella. That isn’t something we had considered, so armed with this new thought, we started watching their interactions more closely.

We had noticed some, but not all of these behaviors before; but with your input, they took on new meaning to us.

  1. Riley will whine to go outside, and I will let him out. If Stella doesn’t go with him, he will stand at the door and whine to get back in, and then go sit by her.
  2. If Riley whines to go outside, and I let him out, and Stella doesn’t go with him, and he whines to get back in BUT instead of letting him in, I actually take Stella outside, then Riley is fine. I guess he doesn’t care if she actually wanted to come out or not. It just matters that she is there.
  3. If I am going from one room to another and call both dogs to come with me, Riley will come first (he’s the most obedient), but if Stella isn’t behind him, he will stop, and look back waiting for her. He won’t come the rest of the way to me until she is coming too.  (Unless there is food involved; then it seems to be every dog for himself.)
  4. We’ve noticed that Riley is always the one to get in bed with Stella, and it is never the other way around. Never.

But what really touched us was how Riley kept watch over Stella 2 days this week when she was sick. Riley didn’t crowd into bed with her like he usually does, but he also didn’t leave her side. He just sat or laid on the floor by her. Protective, it would seem. Sometimes he would look at me and I could almost hear him saying, “Can’t you do anything??”

One pivotal moment came in the evening though, when I had given Stella white rice for dinner to help her tummy get better.  You could just see how much Riley wanted that rice. He kept edging over to Stella’s dish, smelling it ( I guess white rice smells good to dogs. ), looking longingly at it…. but he didn’t touch it. Maybe that’s just his good manners, but I prefer to think that he knew she needed it and let her have it. 

And what did that get him?  Well, from us, he earned a little rice of his own, and from Stella he earned, perhaps, just a little more space in the bed next time they cuddle up together.  That really remains to be seen though.


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Comments (17)

  1. Barbara S

    I have two dogs and what you described is exactly how they behave. We have always had two dogs at a time (sometimes more). My vet told us that although the dogs love and thrive with human companionship, they keep each other company too. I totally believe that.

    March 15, 2018 at 7:11 am
    • Karen

      Thank you for sharing your vet’s comment, Barbara. We have never had 2 dogs – always just one – until we got Stella a year ago, as a companion to Riley. And now we would never have just one dog again. I’m looking at them right now and they are cuddled up together in ONE dog bed, although there are 2 beds here in my office. 🙂 So cute!

      March 15, 2018 at 7:39 am
  2. Nancy Pohl

    OK, brought tears to my eyes! What a sweet story! Those babies are just precious to look at (yeah, I call all dogs babies because that is what they seem to be to us.) I still miss my Cupcake so much. Lost her last August. Hope you are well, my friend.

    March 15, 2018 at 9:41 am
    • Karen

      I know what you mean, Nancy. We treat them like babies, that’s for sure.I’m sorry your lost Cupcake. I know how hard that is.

      March 15, 2018 at 11:08 am
  3. Teresa

    This is so sweet !!!

    March 15, 2018 at 9:57 am
  4. Janet

    Not really a dog person but I must say that I love my sister’s dog and after “dog sitting” a couple times she actually likes me! I just adored reading your post as I found it to be so cute! This just touches my heart!

    March 15, 2018 at 10:26 am
  5. Sue O

    Ahh, that is so cute! We can always learn from our pets if we just pay attention to them

    March 15, 2018 at 12:10 pm
  6. Steph

    Loved hearing your story. It just makes me feel good to know that creatures of all kinds can feel that love for one another.

    March 15, 2018 at 1:25 pm
  7. I knew that was what he was doing. He is the older male dog. It is his job as the alpha dog to protect his pack! What a gentleman he is!!! You go Riley! Is Stella better?

    March 15, 2018 at 2:27 pm
  8. Karla A McCormick

    Great story! This is a little different but when our dog comes up to me for petting, she likes to lean into me…touchy feely, which I love. She also doesn’t like to be outside on her own. She LOVES being outside but if someone isn’t out there with her, she looks back at us, begging us to come out. She wants in if we don’t go out, then wants back in.

    There is a dog next door and they love romping together. It made all the difference in the world when they had each other to help expend their energy and do what dogs do with each other that humans just don’t “get”.

    March 16, 2018 at 6:03 am
  9. Lynne

    Love your fur baby tales! Maybe It’s time for just one doggy bed, a bigger one for both of them. If that works no more tripping over so many extras around the house.

    March 17, 2018 at 2:36 pm
  10. Lenore Gilshenan

    How interesting! Lovely story, thank you Karen for sharing. I am a dog lover too.

    March 17, 2018 at 3:10 pm
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