“I chased Charlie away from the porch today & I wasn’t very nice about it. Probably not the best way to act on our first outing together in over a month, oops! When you let Charlie in the door first, I figured out I’d screwed up. I knew what to do, though! When it was my turn to come in the house (I remembered to wait patiently), I went straight to my kennel and worked on my cute face. How’d I do?”
The tale of two dogs, Charlie and Buddha. Love ’em. Ready to go back to cats. For reals.
I now know that our Puppy is the age of Social Maturity. As in, the age in which you begin to figure out how to be an adult dog. Starting with, **Duh! Moment** challenging the adult dogs in your environment.
It started with the doorways. Buddha would crowd ahead of Charlie, though they were both behind me & I thought that was all that mattered. Soon, Buddha would cross thresholds before Charlie and turn to face him as he entered last. This quickly escalated to Buddha jumping on Charlie, first to prevent his entry, quickly becoming a fight to prevent his very existence.
Whew. That was hard to write. It’s hard to think about, even as a detached sociologist. It happened, well, they happened: Dog Fights.
The first big one was at the backdoor threshold, they roiled through the porch, down the stairs and into the yard. Unstopped by our feeble efforts, including a squirt of the fire extinguisher, I knew I had to do something. So I did. I entered the chaos. And Charlie promptly bit me.
The upside? The energy completely changed. I had the clarity that comes with a sudden onset of MORE adrenaline. Charlie stopped, I grabbed Buddha’s tail and it was over. I removed my ring and rinsed my teeny tiny wound.
The downside? Teeny tiny break in the skin does NOT equal teeny tiny injury. I learned the painful reality of compression injuries, Vicodin allergy & the cost of local healthcare [ER (exam, wound care & meds) total = $350, Clinic (to switch to weaker pain medication, no exam, no meds) total = $140, Prescription meds + lactose free pain reliver = $25]. I’m still regaining use of my ring finger. On my right hand.
Then they did it again, bigger & badder. This time, I knew not to get in there. It was ugly. It was drawn out. It was the worst thing I’ve ever witnessed in my life. Exhaustion and tail pulling broke it up, eventually. Ugh.
We began juggling dogs. UGH! Charlie in the bedroom, Buddha out of the kennel, Buddha in the kennel, Charlie out of the bedroom. Double the potty breaks. Double the exercise outings. Yeah, we’re doing so good already, I think we should do MORE! UUGGHH!
Then I stopped with the ughs. These dogs deserve better. Buddha’s not a dog-face-eating dog. And Charlie’s not one either. Neither of them much like having their faces eaten. I sure don’t want to be the owner (or CAUSE) of any dog-face-eating creatures. So we juggled. We doubled. We exercise. We exercise some more. When they’re tired, we don’t have to juggle so hard, they can be in our space with us. It’s getting better, we’re getting better. Yesterday I got some great information about aggression at the Coming of Age stage for puppies & it all makes sense. I feel better equipped to have these dogs in my life, in my house, in my proximity.
And now, Buddha can go home. Soon. With Love ♥