Spot had been a member of the family about four years. Then everything changed. Except for his boy and his man. The man was widowed. Some time later, he remarried. He and the new bride along with the boy established a domicile together, which meant that Spot moved from his accustomed environs. This in itself might have been sufficiently traumatic, but the bride had a dog of her own. Thus it was to be determined who was "top dog."
I mentioned that Spot was a feisty 55-pound creature of indeterminate origin (read: found in a barrow pit). His new roomie was Dundee, a golden retriever who at 110 pounds was exactly twice his avoirdupois. Dundee was not obese; he was simply an out-sized retriever, taller and larger than the standard golden. How these animals came to an accomodation isn't exactly clear to me, as I never observed the ritual by which it was reached. But since I never observed any bloody fur clumps, I suspect it may have developed in this fashion.
Dundee: (sniff, sniff) What are you, and what are you doing at my place?
Spot: (sniff, sniff, sniff) I am your worst nightmare!
Dundee: Don't be bluffin' on me, boy. I could swallow you in two bites.
Spot: Oh, yeah. I'm small, but I'm mighty.
Dundee: (sniff) Sure.
Spot: (sniff) How about we just get along?
Dundee: All right, then. (Sniff, sniff, lifts leg)
Spot reciprocates, and thus begins a love affair that lasts so long as Dundee lives. And love affair it was. Spot doted on Dundee, cuddled with him, groomed him, and was a constant companion to him. They walked together; they played together. They hunted together, sometimes successfully. They did not swim together. Another story for another time.
Image: Spot with friends, 1983.