Other times, though, I wonder about how Lamar really feels about his kid foster brother. Last week we went to a gorgeous out-of-the-way spot where there was no one around, with spooky rocks, a great place for dogs to swim, and tons of sticks to chase and chew.
Let me tell you that Lamar was once--and still is, despite his 11 years--an incredible athlete. Star frisbee catcher, champion seagull-chaser, iron-gripped stick-tugger, Olympic swimmer.
And he took off like a star after those sticks, front paws paddling strong. Of course Fozzie, thrilled with his new swimming skills that he picked up just a few weeks ago, took off right after him powered by those burly pit bull pecs of his (is that what you call them in a dog?), and grabbed those sticks right out of poor Lamar's mouth.
And I felt terrible for Lamar.
Here's an activity Lamar has always enjoyed so much, and he couldn't even have the satisfaction of bringing a stick all the way to shore because he kept getting interrupted mid-task by his bratty kid foster brother.
Fozzie wasn't mean about it, just acting like a typical teenage kid who loves competitive sports. So we made sure we threw some for Lamar when Fozzie was occupied with a stick in deep water. And I fretted about finding Fozzie a home so Lamar can enjoy his favorite activities again.
When they were on shore together though, I wondered if Lamar is really that miserable. Fozzie went after sticks with his usual intensity, even when they were already in Lamar's mouth, but Lamar was hardly a shrinking wallflower. There was some healthy, fun stick tug of war going on, and no scrappy tiffs broke out.
Am I worrying too much about Lamar's mental health? Can complicated interpersonal relationships be a healthy challenge for dogs, as for humans?
Or do we owe it to our seniors to give them a peaceful retirement?