Halloween Countdown

Daisypath Halloween tickers

Thursday, April 19, 2012

....my life has gone to the dogs

The Players

a.k.a  MoMo,  Mo, Lard Butt
Morgan is half labrador and half golden retriever (on her mother's side!).  She is a lover.  She thinks that everyone she sees should be greeted with a bark and a bout of vigorous tail wagging.  She is stronger than she knows and in her mind she is much smaller than in real life.  On a recent trip to the vet (more on that later) she had everyone in the waiting room smiling as tried repeatedly  to climb on my lap and sit there.  Morgan has settled into apartment life, but she is a little big to be an apartment dog.  She also is the barker of the pair and thinks that every door slam she hears in the building or person she can see in the garden must be greeted with a bark.

She has a problem with pulling on her lead during a walk and therefore requires a head halter or harness.  As I mentioned, she is strong and has on two occasions (so far) actually pulled me over in her attempts to say "hello" to people before we got her on a restraint system.  She has gotten a lot better over the course of this last year and only pulls for the first bit of the walk and then settles into a reasonable pace.

a.k.a.  Einey, Whiney, Meat Brick
Einstein started life as what we refer to as her "ditch dog" period.  She was found with 3 other puppies in a ditch and since I am a sucker for hard luck cases, took her in.  As best as I can piece together by her looks, she is part Shiba Inu, part pomeranian, maybe a little border collie and, we are almost certain, space alien. 

She is a better size for apartment life and seems to be able to successfully ignore everything and be quiet (unless Morgan tells her otherwise).  She is not a "puller" when walked alone and seems to need less trips out than Morgan.  For a little dog, she has a huge bladder!  However, Einstein has a problem.

Redirected Aggression: This type of aggression is relatively common, but is a behavior that pet owners may not always understand. If a dog is aroused into an aggressive response by a person or animal that he is prevented from attacking, he may redirect this aggression onto someone else. A common example occurs when two family dogs become excited, bark and growl in response to another dog passing through the front yard. The two dogs, confined behind a fence, may turn and attack each other because they can't attack the intruder.

Both dogs don't have this problem (thankfully), so what happens is Einstein attacks Morgan and Morgan is forced to defend herself and then I have a full blown dog fight on my hands.  This has happened on four occasions when I have been walking them resulting in 3 weeping, hysterical phone calls to Patrick (Sorry, Patrick!) and one that hit me on a very bad day and resulted in hysterical yelling at said dogs (Sorry, Neighbors!).  There have been smaller fights in the apartment, but are usually quickly resolved and most commonly started over food issues.  The ones outside however are on a much grander scale and infinitely more embarrassing.  I can only stand there and wait for a lull in the fighting to try and separate them.  Until recently, we have only suffered small ear wounds and lots of slobbered on fur.  The last fight however landed Morgan 4 trips to the vet, 15 days of antibiotics and a scary 24 hours waiting to see if the bite to her front leg would result in nerve damage.

Me:  Some of you know already that I have to walk the dogs on average of 4 times daily since we were lied to misinformed about the ability to let them go in the common area of the apartment.  Now this is not a problem unless we encounter a "trigger" that sets Einstein off. This is usually in the form of another dog, but did happen on one occasion when a cat crossed our path.  I have been walking them together and when we don't encounter anything, it works well.  But since the most recent fight, I have been walking them separately because I think I might go insane if there was another fight.

So now instead of 6 times up and down the "hill from hell" I am doing no fewer than 10 trips up and down just for dog walking.  
Up and down
the Saint Cloud workout!
And if I felt bound to the apartment to tend to dog toiletry before.....I just added an additional 30 or so minutes to the regime.  I guess on the bonus side - my legs and butt are looking better. I really miss my backyard where I could just let them out and they could do their "business" in private without the drama.

Ah the joys of pet ownership.  Maybe instead of rehoming Squirrel the rabbit or Rolo the chinchilla before we left, I should have brought them instead of my "drama dogs"!