9.17.2006

pup story, part 2

Things at home were a little tense, and a little crazy, but we knew we had to keep Puppy while we searched for a home for her. We gave her a bath, took her to vet for shots, and started spreading the word. Someone at work made us flyers.

flyer 001

flyer 002


The person who made the flyers said it looked like we had performed some kind of evil experiment, cloning Gypsy and Clyde to produce a cross between the two.

We briefly considered keeping Puppy ourselves, but three dogs in an apartment was just too much. Most importantly, it didn't seem fair to Gypsy. She was older, and slower, and the presence of an energetic, playful pup was clearly irritating her. Puppy would approach Gypsy where was relaxing, and nip and bat at her, trying to get her to play. "Play with me, play with me, play with me, play play play play play."

Gypsy would drag herself up, somewhat painfully by that time, walk to the other side of the room, and flop back down again.

Puppy would bounce over there. "Play with me, play with me, play with me, play play play play play."

Gypsy would never growl at Puppy or otherwise tell her to back off. She would just drag herself up again, and try lying somewhere else.

I put Puppy in another room and shut the door, and we ran out to buy a crate.

It was the only way to be fair to Gypsy. Puppy wasn't completely house-trained anyway, so a crate was a good idea. Puppy loved her crate, and it gave the other dogs more security, and more peace.

Puppy was very smart, a fast learner - and she was also a dominant dog. The alpha dog in our home had always been Clyde, ever since we found her (two years after we adopted Gypsy). Clyde was the sweetest dog in the world, always happy and carefree, loved all people - but was definitely dominant, although not aggressive, to other dogs.

In the small-scale world of domestic canines, dominance is often expressed in small ways, such as who starts eating first, and who enters or exits a room first. Clyde always had to go through a door before Gypsy. If Gypsy - three times Clyde's size - got ahead of Clyde, Clyde would give a quick turn of the head, a snarl, a nip, and continue on ahead. This happened so quickly, if you weren't aware of it, you would never see it. Clyde's expression would change instantly - happy-snarl-happy - Gypsy would be checked back, no one missed a beat.

One day, in kind of a confined space between our bedroom and bathroom, Clyde tried that on Puppy - and Puppy snarled back. In an instant, they were at each other, teeth bared, scary growling and barking noises, and suddenly Clyde was screaming, high-pitched cries of pain and submission. Puppy had Clyde by the ear and didn't immediately let go. Allan was furious to see his his little girl hurt; he grabbed Puppy and half-tossed her into the bathroom and shut the door.

Clyde was bleeding, with a nip to the ear. But more than that, she was shook up. She was dethroned.

From then on, whenever Puppy was in the room, Clyde would position herself between us, or stand between Allan's legs. If I was at my desk, she would lay under my legs. She was a pretty tough cookie, and had never been fearful, so it was really something to see.

We stepped up our efforts to find Puppy a home.

2 comments:

redsock said...

I had forgotten about those signs!

David Cho said...

Those are great fliers, and the person's observation is excellent. A cross between the two. LOL.

Dog group dynamics are always interesting to watch. When I was renting a room, we had a golden retriever puppy as well. Well, tht is a story in and of itself, which I should blog about. It is closely tied to how I got to adopt Noah who was my roommate's dog.