Can an old dog teach a new dog tricks?
Even when the old dog (Little Monkey) is nine going on two, and the new dog (Mr Spaghetti Legs) is at least twelve?
It is so much easier to teach your newly acquired dog the ropes, when you already have a dog that knows how to behave. The new dog watches the old dog, and learns. They may not know why they have to sit at the kerb before crossing the road; why they are not allowed down the passage; why they have to sit nicely for their food; just that this is what the pack does here, and so they copy them.
When I adopted Little Monkey, I already had two old dogs, TJ and Madam. They used to sit nicely for their food, and raise one paw to say please. When this new young dog arrived, they suddenly became desperate for their food at meal times, and sat up and begged with both paws in the air. This is what Little Monkey saw and copied. She now stands right up on her hind legs like a circus dog, before sitting nicely for her food.
Little Monkey loves to show her enthusiasm for life by leaping in the air with all four feet off the ground; in the mornings, or at meal times, or when I come home, or simply just because. Old Mr Spaghetti Legs, with the pinched spinal nerve and wobbly back legs, has watched and learned.
This morning, he too tried to leap in the air in excitement. He got his front legs off the ground at least. I know that if his body matched his spirit, he would have flown!