Here's our new collie, Butterscotch.
Butterscotch, a newly-acquired 10-year-old collie, has been battling my nearly 10-year-old mutt Lady to be my best friend. Lady, who we adopted in October 2002, hasn't had to stay with me much since Katie died in March 2007.
Now, Butterscotch is constantly rubbing that long nose against my arm and leg, trying to get me to pet or feed him. When he gets tired, he'll circle three times and plunk down under a computer table. And Lady, who has spent most of her time downstairs, has taken up vigil on the other side. If Scottie, as we call him, makes the mistake of going out into the hall, Lady will take up a strategic post to my left, blocking Scottie from getting in here.
Scottie has spent most of his time upstairs his few days here, but I finally figured out how to get him downstairs. Instead of trying to talk him into going down the steps, I just caught him behind the head and gently pulled my hand toward the basement door. He went right down. Lady and Scottie tried to follow me back upstairs when I came up later, but I was able to keep them down there.
The dogs haven't battled, just jockeyed for position near me. With any luck, Lady and Scottie, as well as our other mutt, Buddy, will bond and get past the flanking maneuvers. Otherwise, it'll seem like a fairly civil Civil War between generals Lady Lydia (Lady's real name) and Butterscotch.
May both dogs win.