Dog Dynamics

First, some musica! This is Joan Baez and Mercedes Sosa

Dexter's arrival in our home, now 159 days ago, made for an interesting change in dynamics. Last night in bed (with Dexter--don't ask me how my "never will I have a dog in our bed again" result in Dexter now nestling in bed with us), we heard Ella (lowest member of our totem pole), growling at Daisey (who thinks she is queen bee, but Angel tries to disabuse her of that notion at the front door).  Ella had settled on a dog bed, and Daisey was trying to hustle her out.  Ella would have none of it. 

(It should be noted that Daisey used to get Ella in a choke hold which involved Ella being on her back, Daisey pinning her down and clamping on Ella's windpipe to the point of having Ella coughing for breath.  We always intervened when we were there; and because we work, I'm sure there were unsupervised sessions that did not involve any death or injury). 

What is remarkable about hearing Ella growl, is that she never does this.  However, since Dexter has crossed the threshhold, he has empowered her.  How?  That is what is interesting.  Dexter is the only dog that we have had that treats Ella as an equal.  He invites her to play; she allows him to chew on her; she chews  on him; runs; turns; and when she has had enough she lets him know.  He doesn't always respect her cues, but he doesn't respect those of Angel or Daisey.  We ensure that we reinforce the cues.

Though Daisey has general disdain for Dexter, I spied her laying outside near him him (4ft), basking in the December sun on a warm day.  Now that Dexter is able to settle on the sofa (not possible until recently), he will lay his head on whatever part of Daisey she will allow him to.  Last evening it was her back left foot.

Dexter's best sparring partner is Angel.  Angel in recent weeks has become increasingly active as the door-keeper.  Trying to get 4 dogs out the door when Angel is throwing her weight around is a bit difficult.  Dexter of course pays her no mind.  He does not try to dominate any, but he's not willing to be dominated.  He's just a happy-go-lucky guy who wants to play with any who will have him.

I finally got my daughter to bring her dog, Blaze (Setter/Hound mix) by.  Unfortunately, she didn't call me ahead of time.  She simply barged in the front door without knocking, with Blaze not on a lead, and surprising the heck out of everyone.  (Dexter was outside with Mark on a lead).

Well Angel sprang into action and all manner of hell broke loose.  I was nursing a hurt back from my travails with Dexter earlier, but pulled  her off.  All of the energy escalation could not be quieted, and there was no chance that anything good was going to come of Dexter and Blaze's meeting more closely.  Dexter was tied off; I rebuked my daughter for her 'introduction', and I suggested that her dog be on a lead whenever she is introducing her dog to another.  Bustin' up through someone's front door with a strange dog is not preferred.

No harm done.

My SIL vacationed over the Xmas holiday with other members of her family to include 5 (or 6 ) dogs.  She has a pair of labs.  Her sister has a pair of German Shepherds.  A trip to the vet for one of her dogs ensued for a back leg bite injury requiring a staple.

I have no wish to vacation with my dogs.  Though we did enjoy taking Dexter to Nags Head with us and BOARDING him.  I like getting away from my dogs, though I love them dearly.

Nevertheless, Ella has found her voice.  Dexter's being in bed with us has be therapeutic for him; and it gives us more rest time.  But, yeah, I know that it is not such a great idea.


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