Cousin Vinnie is visiting for a few days. He is a golden retriever OPIH (only pet in household).
Vinnie belongs to a colleague of mine. By being an 'only pet', Vinnie is in awe of our pack of dogs. He has been here enough times that he knows our dogs and they get along well. When he arrives, the dogs all gather for the initial sniffs and scrambling excitement. As his first day here ends, Vinnie begins to stand out as a solitude dog. He does not know the pack mentality.
When does a pet become a pack animal? Does Vinnie long for his days of being the only pet in the household?
It takes a few days for Vinnie to morph into the pack. He tends to hang back sometimes. As the days blend together, he starts to fit right in the middle of the gang. He isn't possessive of his food (none of our dogs are possessive that way, a trait we are thankful for), he shares the water bowl, and he isn't picky about which dog bed he sleeps on. When I hear the doggy door flapping, I find Vinnie in the middle of the parade of dogs going out or coming in.
Vinnie does not fight for 'top dog' position - he does not attempt to be the dominant one. In our own pack, I have yet to figure out who is the pack leader! I am sure the dogs know their own order, but they are keeping it a secret from me.
I'm told when Vinnie goes home, he is depressed. Maybe he should stay!