Sunday, July 2, 2017

Dogs, Dogs, Dogs

I have spent this hot weekend indoors with three precious dogs. Yes, I am baby-sitting for Gay and Stu who are attending a wedding.

Dogs have different personalities. Sunny, the Maltese mix, is cute as can be, but she lets everyone know she is Alpha Dog. If Smokie, the sweet little miniature Schnauzer, comes near where she is sleeping, Sunny growls like she is going to have Smokie for lunch. 

Sweet Smokie
Alpha Dog, Sunny

Now throw Lexie in the mix. Lexie is not afraid of Sunny and challenges her for Alpha status. But Lexie is younger and is more interested in playing than in fighting to be top dog. While I sit at my computer they all sleep in their respective places. Lexie loves her crate and sleeps curled up in a ball. Sunny usually sleeps on a pink blanket on the floor of the dining room where I am working, but today she has taken over Smokie's bed just to my right. 

Smokie, who challenges no one for authority, sits on a mat and looks at me as if to say, "Can't you make her give me my bed?" 

I try to encourage Smokie to come past Sunny and take the pink blanket, but as soon as Smokie gets close to Sunny, the boss leaps up in her face and growls like a lion in a cage. So the schnauzer goes back to the mat and finally curls up there and sleeps. 

Last night as I was preparing for bed and getting ready to let all three of them stay with me, I heard the fiercest of battles begin behind me. I turned and Sunny and Lexie were on the bed going at each other. I yelled at them, but they did not stop. I then tried to reach and pull Sunny toward me so Lexie could jump off the bed, but no, Lexie had decided that no one was going to take her place on my bed next to me. I think it was all a bit of jealousy, but they really frightened me. Even after I held Sunny away from Lexie, my little one would not stop attacking Sunny. 

I never had a problem with my dogs and Gay's and Stu's dogs, but in the past I always had a male. My male dogs never challenged their female dogs for their food or attention. Rocky let Smokie chew on his legs and his neck when she was a puppy and he never even growled - not once. I think it is jealousy that upsets the apple cart with these girls. 

Rocky licked Smokie to show her how much he loved her

Lexie is used to having all my attention and not sharing me with anyone. Sunny is used to being the top dog and doesn't plan to give that position up anytime soon. Sweet Smokie just sits and looks at me with those pitiful eyes, and I feel guilty that I don't take her in my lap and hold her. I know her mom would do that. But I have been at my computer and cannot type and hold a pup.

Well it is time to feed them. They are good about eating together, but I have to watch Sunny. She will take Smokie's food if she gets a chance. And I will be sure she doesn't try to sneak any of Lexie's. I don't want another dog fight tonight.
Lexie likes to be near me even if she is  on the chair beside me. 


Elephant's Child said...

It is a long time since I have shared my life with dogs, but I certainly have faced similar issues with cats. And jealousy was often the driver.
Good luck. I hope you find a resolution which suits you all.

DJan said...

i hope nobody gets hurt in these fights. I thin you are right, it's just jealousy, one human and three dogs, all wanting your Attention. :-)

Glenda Council Beall said...

I found the answer to my problem. Sunny and Smokie sleep in their room and Lexie sleeps in my room. Now no one is jealous. I can't imagine what my mother went through with seven kids. I know my brothers fought like boys do and they teased Gay and me until we cried. She had to be the peacemaker.
Also people I know who have two dogs often have the problem of fighting over who is going to be number one.
We are not so different from our pets, I think.

Abbie Taylor said...

Glenda, at least you're not raising a baby owl. I'm reading a memoir by a California biologist who did just that for nineteen years. The owl had a damaged wing, so he couldn't have survived in the wild. Birds of prey cannot be trained or even disciplined, and any household item is subject to falling victim to their talons. This book is fascinating, and I'll review it on my blog when I finish it. Meanwhile, good luck with the dogs.

Glenda Council Beall said...

Abbie, no I'm raising a baby owl, but I imagine that would be fun. I look forward to reading your review. My sister raised a baby squirrel when she was a teenager. The squirrel became very attached to my sister and it was hard for Gay to let it go back to the wild, but she was going off to college and could no longer keep him. He hung around in our yard until he found a mate and then he went away.

I am back home now with my one little dog and she is fine. The fireworks scared her last night, but she hid in her crate and got through it alright.