Thursday, August 25, 2011

Leader of the Pack

As with all dogs, there is a social system.  This goes for our dogs too.  In watching them I can see that it's actually pretty well developed.  I feel like there is an orderly relationship and 'communication' among them as they relate and interact with one another.  With Rudi gone, we knew there would be changes within the pack.  We don't force these changes, but let the dogs decide for themselves when and how these changes will occur.  It has been interesting to watch.  Rudi really kept everyone 'in line' and they followed her lead.  When one of the dogs didn't come when called, she'd chide them when they returned.  Even when she wasn't feeling well, they seemed to know what was expected of them.  After she passed, we had several days where there was definite discord and direction.  I really had to get after a couple of the dogs because they would wander off, or not listen when asked to do something.  There were a few brief squabbles and you could see that there was not a sense of unity among them.  

I knew things would settle down and eventually there would be a new pack leader.  Who would it be?  Well, we knew who it wouldn't be.  Within the group there are 'the followers' who are not really involved in the politics of the pack.  That is saved for a few of the others. 

The new comer to our pack, Reggie, is one of those followers.   
Wendy, (who came to us in 1999) at almost 15 years old is considered the matriarch of the pack. 
Even Todd has learned to give her that respect.  
   But at the top of the pack, is the fair and mischievous Carrie-Anne... 
Followed by Sheba who is very energetic, social, but can be bossy and dominant.  
She has often needed to be reminded of her place.
Then there's Josh.  Regal, proud, quiet and self assured.  
His confidence in himself often shows.  
While they could all fill that role,
if you think that our new pack leader is one of them, you're wrong.
The new pack leader at Golden Pines is...
Todd--Young and energetic and full of confidence,
he has us hopping and jumping to meet his every need!!  
But don't tell Charlie, he thinks it's him!
~Okay, I was kidding about Todd,
but as we expected, Charlie has become the new pack-leader~ 
But the cat, CC thinks it's her (actually it's her, but don't tell Charlie...)  
Whoever is 'in charge' of your household, whatever you're doing, 
I hope you're having a enjoyable day!
Rain here in northern Virginia today
and just as with the earthquake this week,
we may feel the effects of Hurricane Irene this weekend.   


  1. and such a wonderfully blended pack it is. :) such beauties and characters - each and every one of them.

    good luck with the weather!

  2. Kim, I loved this post. What a wonderful description of your pack! All beauties.
    BTW, my hubby is getting very tired of me ALWAYS showing him Todd's pic when you post it. LOL

  3. You know, if you would quit hiding toys and treats in the pots and shoes, Todd would leave them alone. (snicker, snort)

    I sure hope that hurricane just turns and goes out into the ocean to die, after giving you the rain you need, of course.

  4. What a pack of lovies...I think you are the real leader here and then that little guy1 ;D

  5. Each dog's personality comes through in your photos. TODD!! Those ears!! And I love Carrie-Anne's smile. Thanks for this.

  6. It doesn't surprise me that Todd is the head of the pack. But oh what a lovely description of each of the others.

    I am thinking we both have just about the same size pack these days. Obviously dominated by the amount of goldens in our homes but sprinkled with a little mix of this and that and Todd.


  7. My sister reads you blog too and she has decided that I need a Todd at our house to be best friends with Rowdy... not sure that will happen, but photos and stories of Todd sure are making me consider it!

  8. Wonderful photos ! They are all lovely furbabies. We have here our Miggy and Harley kitty I think they look to me as their pack leader all though Miggy has quite the mind of her own lol and the energy is un real with her lol Have a wonderful day !

  9. Hi Kim, I swear you could teach me so much about packs and correct canine behavior. Loved reading this, you made me smile as I hope my little box being sent will do for you. I tell you that your hubby is quite a guy, with all the pack. Love Todd-he looks like quite the character. Hope you didn't feel the earthquake today.
    Hugs, Noreen & Reggie

  10. Hi Kim,
    I wish I could say that I am the pack leader but no Tom is our pack leader around here and the animals know it for sure!!!
    An earthquake and a hurricane in the same time period!!! You are so special!!!!
    Hope it is not hard on you!!!
    xx, Tinker & Fern
    PS, I think there is a lot of hound in Tinker!!

  11. What a beautiful family you have! So Todd is the boss is he? Doesn't surprise me a bit. Who could resist him?

  12. Your post made me laugh out loud, Kim! I do understand how Todd is the 'pack leader' and can imagine how he must be keeping evryone in his/her toes! He is such an adorable lil pup :)
    Josh sounds so much like Ginger...his eyes have that serene confident and liquid look....
    Bud will probably fit in as a follower. In our pack, currently Shadow is the undisputed leader of ALL(!!!) and Ginger thinks all the rules are for evryone else except her!! My girl is Quiet but extremely self assured, more so at times
    Please keep safe...sending everyone loads of luv

  13. We're waiting on Irene, too.
    Beautiful pets. :)

  14. Just had to be the Scottie !

  15. Owwwww...they are all so sweet !!! from

  16. I kind of figured that Todd might end up taking a lot of space :o)

  17. Todd! Get out of the flower pot!
    Canine behavior is sooo interesting....

  18. I figured that Todd would finagle his way to the top fairly soon - you can probably hear his sister, Jazzi, screaming all the way from her house to yours!!


  19. You know, I look at one of your dogs and think "That's the one I love." Then I go to the next picture and say the same thing. I love them all and sure wish I had one. Such a happy pack.

    Hope you're weather is only good!

  20. very nice pack you have there!! We just knew that Todd has to be the leader, I mean hes a scottie!! BOL

    Jazzi and Addy

  21. I love all the photos of your pack and reading about thier changing pack order.

    Have a great (and hopefully not too windy) weekend.

  22. Great pictures. It's interesting the pack politics and the different personalities.

    We love Todd being a scottie puppy and digging in the pot plant.

    XXXOOO Daisy, Kendra & Bella

  23. JOsh is very handsome, but I just love Carrie Anne. She's so naughty.

    I suspected Charlie might make the move. Those little ones can be tough with big ambitions.

    Don't you love observing pack dynamics?

  24. i have a HUGE smile on my face...what a great post !!!! LOVE seeing everybody..all so beautiful...and that darling little todd....and what a pretty all of it....

    stay safe this weekend, my sweet friends

    sending love,
    kary, teddy and all the farmhouse kitchen kittys

  25. That is some team you have assembled! I sure hope you don't take a beating from Irene this weekend. Our friends in Fredricksburg had some damage from the earthquake.

  26. You have a terrific group of pack animals. Your photos and descriptions have given me a true and clear idea who the leader really is. It's.... All of them. :)

  27. I guess every pack has to have a leader and I'm glad yours is becoming more cohesive again. :)

  28. Love all the pics of the dogs....but I really likes that humming bird picture. That's one proud looking bird. Probably the leader of the pack of humming birds :-)!

  29. with your head in the pot! Get outta there! Loved this post and love your fur kids.

    Buzzy, Pippa & da Mum

  30. Of course it is Todd. Todd looks like he could conquer the world! Beautiful pictures of the whole pack, (and the hummingbird).

  31. What a beautiful pack it is!!

    Stay safe!! Those hurricanes can be kind of mean sometimes (or so I hear).

    Boondocks & The Love Shack Pack

  32. I just loved this post. Wouldn't it be wonderful if our Congress and Senate could take a lesson from the animals?

  33. I loved the tour of your pack! You had me laughing. Todd as pack leader???? LOL! But it's actually King Charlie! I love it.

    It is so interesting to watch dogs work out their relationships. Our younger dog, R, really wants to be the boss. But, if he pushes too hard, K just raises her lip to give a small snarl, and R runs all the way to the other end of the house!

  34. A great post Kim. I love the behind the scenes look at your pack. I'd ask about my Chub Brothers, but I know exactly who they think is in charge: the biped with the groceries.

    I don't remember hearing a lot about Josh. He is a very handsome, red boy, kind of like Easton. Hope all is well.

  35. What a wonderful brood you have! Ihope you don't feel the effects of Hurricane Irene - take care.

  36. I think it's time to stop referring to your collection as a "pack"...I think it's a HERD!!!!...:)JP

  37. I think as long as everyone is getting along ~ it doesn't matter who is the leader ~ they can all thing it is them! :)

    Happy Weekend Kim and furry friends!
    xo Catherine

  38. I was wondering about pack dynamics. Here's hoping that Charlie will be a benevolent despot.

  39. Isn't it funny how some are content to follow, and then ther's the leader, who wouldn't tolerate the following habit at all. Each with their own delightful personalities.....
    What a lovely "pack" nevertheless.

    If Irene plans on paying you a visit, I hope she is gentle, and you , Carl and the "pack" stay safe.

  40. kim, do you find the pecking order changes after a death in the pack!
    Constance , was more dominent than we thought!

  41. HAHAHA! Love it!!! I needed this laugh today, Kim! It was so good to see all these sweet furry faces! And I'm not telling Charlie or Todd or any of the rest... I'm pretty sure that they already know - with one look into the eyes of CC that she's the leader.. Stay safe and dry this weekend!

  42. Earthquakes and hurricanes, I was thinking of you this week and this weekend...take care!

  43. Hi Kim
    This post was so cool talking about all the pack members.
    They all have their place,, but I am glad to hear it is Charlie who will take over. I kinda wondered if it would be. After all,, he has earned his place!
    But CC-- well it could be a toss up!
    Your photographs are just beautiful.. of the whole pack,, and that gorgeous butterfly!
    Stay safe from those winds and the hurricane!
    We are thinking of all of you,., keeping you in our thought and prayers..


  44. What a wonderful pack, we loved reading about how the dymanics have changed. They all look so content, we are huge fans of Todd , he seems like our kinda guy, I have fallen for Josh though, what a wonderful expression :-) Have a great weekend whatever you get up too, way to go Charlie, good luck in your new role! xxx

  45. Good-bye Rudi! Happy trails to you...
    Interesting about the pack dynamic Kim. We see this at Sophie's day care. Their leader (an English Setter) died a month ago and their other 'house' dog, a little fella, has taken over as leader. Sophie was very smart about this as she spent most of her time in his room! She knows how to suck up to the boss I guess! lol

  46. You had me fooled for a minute, I really thought Todd had taken charge!

  47. Kim,
    What a beautiful post with lots of humor to keep us guessing about the next pack leader.
    Congrats to Charlie, he will have some big paws to fill.
    That Todd is just too cute and curious for his own good.
    Thanks for sharing such sweet pictures it really brightened my day.

  48. Hope the weather is quieting down!
    Great post, and loved the suspence...had us going at Todd...

    Sweet hugs to all,
    Sierra Rose

  49. Thank you for introducing your fur children to us. I can tell you really know all of their personal traits. They are really a handsome bunch and its so interesting how they decide their pecking order.

  50. oh charlie of the beautiful blue eye!
    how do you make me feel as if i've just been visiting on your front porch? i love coming to golden pines and seeing you and carl and your pack. i think the loving knowledge and sheer respect you give these magnificient fur people is wonderful. and todd? well todd is the character!!! his job is being totally adorable and he does it well.
    tammy j

  51. Loved seeing all your pets and hearing about their personalities.


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