Having Esme back in the house has Leeloo pretty happy. When Esme wasn't here Leeloo didn't seem to miss her, she just carried on with life as a dog; napping on the couch, eating as fast as she could, chasing kitties when the mood struck her and snuffling through the bushes on our walks. She didn't play much but I put that down to her being a matronly two years old.
Esme, it seems, was the spark of mischief in all our lives and her presence in the house again makes me realize I was not the only one who felt a light was doused by her absence. Leeloo has made it quite clear that Esme is critically important to her amusement. In the morning the two of them spend a few minutes on the bed rolling around, waving feet at each other and generally being annoying enough to expedite my exit from the bed.
Once on our walk Leeloo is the only one of the two Ridgebacks who reacts to Esme's goading. Raimi carefully ignores the black furry gnat who relentlessly throws herself at his neck, his remarkable tolerance is a credit to his temperament. Leeloo, however, is easily drawn into a chase or a momentary wrestle. When Esme throws herself at The Boy he just lifts his head and turns away with an eminently patient sigh, but when Leeloo gets the attention she invariably raises a swatting foot and then leaps after the instigator to show her who's boss.
I watched them this morning as Esme raced down the path with Leeloo close at her side, every three steps Leeloo struck out at Esme with a flashing white paw and Esme threw herself up at Leeloo's neck in an attempt to direct her movement. A sheep Leeloo is not and she is extremely difficult to herd, but such trivial things do not enter Esme's little Puli brain. It's the enjoyment of each other's company that counts in the long run and dogs instinctively know this universal truth.