You go first …… I’ll be right behind you.
I should have recognized Patryn’s preferred “mode of operation” upon arrival. He and his sister flew into O’Hare Airport in separate crates. They were waiting for us in the pickup office of “live animal” shipping. Patryn was to stay with us and his sister, Hanna, to continue the next morning on a flight to Toronto.
Eager to see my new boy in the flesh, I opened his crate first, expecting him to be as anxious to escape the confines as I was to meet him. Despite my gentle coaxing, he remained at the back of the crate, refusing my invitations. Realizing that he might be more anxious about his new surroundings than meeting this excited woman peering in at him, I opened Hanna’s crate and without any urging whatsoever, she was out and in my lap. After watching his sister, Patryn slowly made his exit from the security of his travel crate to begin introductions with his forever family.
He followed Hanna around the house the night they arrived. He then switched allegiance to Haplo, our 3 year old, after Hanna flew off to Toronto. This remained the strategy that worked for Patryn throughout his years. Always observant and happy to be a beta to his alpha but ready to provide support when needed …..
- he brought up the rear during our daily walks;
- became back up when multiple dogs decided Haplo was too cocky at a dog park;
- literally showed us the way out of the woods when the trail was poorly marked.
And when the Alpha role was thrust upon him, he demonstrated a gentle guidance to a pup he never expected to help raise.
We lost Patryn to cancer a year after Haplo died, once again following Haplo’s lead. I like to think that Hap was there waiting to welcome him to the other side of the Rainbow Bridge.
Alpha and Beta happily reunited.