Okay first, a little video:
For those of you with rambunctious B's or puppies or "normal" playful dogs, this is totally ho-hum and boring, but for us, it's a big deal. It's been nine months since we adopted Bowpi (she's about 5 or 6 years old), and while she's had no trouble bonding with my partner and me, she doesn't have much to do with our Shiba, whom we've had since he was a puppy. The most they usually do is take naps on the futon together (without touching), or get really excited at the same time when it's time to go to the park or when someone comes home. But they don't really interact.
The Shiba doesn't really "play" either. He likes to roughhouse and play tug-of-war with blankets and ropes, which is totally NOT Bowpi's game at all. So when she reached out to "bop" him on the head and he responded in a playful manner, I thought that was a big deal for BOTH of them.
She's shaking and throwing all sorts of nervous/calming signals (like the sneeze) because I think she's usually a little afraid of our growly, vocal Shiba at the same time that she WANTS to be accepted by him. Actually, she behaves the same way, reaching out with her paws to me or my partner when we come home. She reaches out, and then we pet her, and she quivers a little with excitement with her ears pinned back. Then she turns a quick little circle and reaches out again for more attention.
She's very demonstrative with her paws when she wants attention. In the past, I've been told by old-school trainers that this is a very "dominant" move when the dog puts their paw on TOP of you to DEMAND attention… but in Bowpi's case, while she IS clearly asking for attention, "dominant" is probably the last word I'd use to describe her.
Yup, there she is, totally "dominating" my boyfriend by lying on TOP of him, oh goodness! :p
One last random picture while I was typing out this entry… I noticed her hackles were all bristling while she was asleep next to me. Must be having a dream? We are lucky that she does not wake aggressively, though she has been known to let out a piercing, frightened scream in her sleep before.