Once we arrived at my mother's I took him out and around to the fenced back yard. When he saw my mom's springer spaniel 8mo puppy, Beau, Kona got very nervous (hackles up, growling and lunging). So we backed things up a bit. Beau went inside and we let Kona off leash in the yard. He ran off some tension, then Winnie (my mother's 14 yo female springer) came out. Winnie is older and grumpy, so when Kona got in her face a bit with the whole "alert nose touch" thing, Winnie growled and snapped once. Kona learned it was her yard pretty fast and the hackles started going down.
Then Beau was brought out again. There was a moment or two of hesitant sniffing, then they ignored each other for a minute or two, THEN they started tearing around the yard in circles chasing each other. Kona got to fall in the goldfish pond, which apparently was a treat.
Socialization/Play Date = success.
Kona and Beau, or "Bona" as they are now referred to. Would NOT stop playing with each other. Winnie was enjoying herself, but tired of it quickly and left the lunacy to younger pups. We actually had to separate them because they were exhausting themselves (I think it was a demented game of chicken where neither would admit to the other he was wiped out).
At the end of the day, I think the two of them had removed every ya-ya they had and burned through them. Kona slept the whole car ride home.
New best day ever for Kona? Hard to say, but it's definitely in the –ahaha– running.
BFFs: Best Fools Forever?
A tiny sample of their day.