I know, this blog has turned into the dog channel lately, and this post is no exception. But we’re in a period of rapid change here, in terms of pack-building, which will sort out in the weeks to come. We’ve typically had three dogs at a time, until the loss of Allis Ray last summer left us with a mellow ten year-old male lab and an approximately four year-old female mix (Plott hound perhaps?). They had developed a comfortable dynamic, no turf issues, but not a lot of playground glee either.
Then Mason arrived on November 15th, followed by Katar on November 26th, and we’re off to the races. So, now we have a ten week-old puppy channeling his inner kamikaze pilot, who hurls himself at all takers until put in his fourteen pound place. But we also have a former solo alpha dog, who ruled his house for nearly four years, being fed fresh ground beef, etc., which was partly responsible for his ninety-plus pounds. (The other factor is that he’s just a damn big dog.)
So, who’s in charge now? Well, after a few days of carefully balanced praise and instruction, I’m happy to report that the humans are still at the top of the food chain. And after the two of us comes……well, we’re not sure yet. But my wife and I totally agree on two things. One, we know that every day that goes by without bloodshed allows the foursome more time to coalesce into a pack, and increases the odds that any skirmish to establish the pecking order will be a minor one. Second, we agree that the key to the dynamic is Patti. What role will she play in the pack? As you can see from the brief clip below, she is a dog of many talents….
By the way, that second clip was from last Sunday. The two of them now get along quite well for the most part, with each day increasing our faith that they can ‘play nicely’ without leashes involved.
And incidentally, Patti, the former ‘found-by-the-side-of-the-highway’ dog; had the ligaments in both knees repaired by an orthopedic surgeon last year and the year before..
Update: Pack bonding, day by day. Sunday night in front of the woodstove.
Posted on December 2nd, 2011 by jack-of-all-thumbs
Filed under: Family Life