Wally, who is a border collie, and Ben go way back – they met on high school soccer sidelines about 8 years ago – and actually provided some pretty rousing halftime entertainment when we were bold enough to let them off their leashes to frolic on the field while boys were getting their second half instructions.
Herding dogs like Ben and Wally have a VERY unique style of play that combines dizzying, fast-paced herding maneuvers with the game “Chicken,” in which each dog attempts to drive the other into a collision course with a tree, shrub or random human. When they tire of Herding Dog Chicken, they turn to Neck-wrestling, which involves slapping your entire upper body against your opponent's, dog-laughing the whole time. Neither is for the faint-of-heart. But it IS entertaining.
Ben and Wally are older now, much more sedate, and tend to limit their play to a polite sniff and a brief gallop around their owners before heading off into the park to check the latest “pee-mails” left by their other four-legged friends. But I do think they’re happy to see each other.
Wally is a character. If Ben and Wally were members of a fraternal organization, Wally would be the Shriner screaming around in a Funny Car while Ben earnestly headed to his next downtown Rotary meeting. You get the picture. Wally is our free spirit. Ben -- obviously the oldest pup in the birth-order scheme of things.