"A lot has changed in the last year," Chase stated tenderly, "...though I'm not sure how fond I am of the changes." My afternoon with fourteen year old Chase was spent leisurely at his home. We walked slowly together from room to room as he recounted stories from his past. He spoke of his old pal Tommy, who raised him as a pup. "I used to curl up beside his stomach to fall asleep. Even as I grew older and larger, Tommy still let me sleep between his legs, no matter how uncomfortable he got." Chase had a hard exterior, interrupting our conversations to bark at trespassers and patrol his yard. He would try to show the new member of his pack the proper way to check the perimeters of the property, but would quickly get fed up with their puppy antics and just handle it himself. He only tolerates snuggles from his humans for very short periods of time. You can tell he is very proud of his pack and his powerful role among them, but as I spent more time with him, I began to see a softer side as well.
"I was the only dog in this house for quite some time. Most of my life, really. I loved it. I grew up with the kids and learned a lot about my pack. I've kept them safe from raccoons and various other rodents. Recently, though, many other dogs have started to roam about the property. I've got two new pack members, they're both silly. I've tried to teach them the proper ways to protect the house... they just don't listen. Pups, these days." He paused for a while, lapping his water slowly. "But it hasn't been all bad with these guys around." He spoke of small things that he learned since his new pack members arrived, like how stretching feels really good and he should do it more often. He has also learned new ways to ask the humans for food that are much more successful than his old techniques. And best of all, he's learned that if he relaxes and sits for photos for his smallest human, he gets the yummiest treats in the house.
Chase is a noble and proud dog, He stands straight with his head held high, but something inside him melts when a puppy or any young pup enters his abode. He is warm and welcoming to his little friends, yet still a strong leader for them to follow. I was lucky enough to witness him interact with a few pups and couldn't believe my eyes. The puppies followed him around, obeying all the rules each step of the way. Chase was thoroughly enjoying himself; it was a wonderful sight to see. Anyone who meets this lovely being knows how lucky they are to be in his presence, and he only gets more lovely with age.