I am pleased to report that as best I can tell, Dog Wars have come to an end. It was iffy for a while there. My little pit bull Buddy was simply not going to let this bigger male come into his house and take over even though Shadow is just a year old and not terribly bright. So there was fussing. Snippy-snarling. Lots of uh... dominance humping... which would inevitably turn to more snarling and kennel time. They were separated quite a bit those first few weeks.
Then we went through the 'hall monitor' phase. Buddy, who has spent every day of the last four years chasing my two cats, has now become their protector. Once Shadow takes off after a cat, Buddy gets in between them and snaps at Shadow in her defense. I guess its like a little sister. You can make her life miserable, but nobody else can. Buddy became a grumpy old man. "Hey there, no running. Hey there, no barking." Everytime Shadow got all fired up, Buddy was there to intervene in the situation. I had to keep remining him he wasn't in charge. That was my job.
Now they seem to be at a comfortable truce. They roughhouse and play, but in the end they fall asleep on the rug together licking each other's ears. (Well, as long as Shadow stays away from Buddy's food and bones.) Dogs are funny. I can't be certain, but I think Buddy won. He struts around the house like he's the boss. Of course, my beagle Licorice may be the true alpha dog. She sat on the couch, got petted and watched the boys fight. She's no dummy.
To the left is a picture I took the other night. I was trying to cook, but failing miserably because the beagle blocked the sink, the husky blocked the pots and the pit bull blocked the stove. All I could do was stand there hopelessly and take this picture instead. My uncle refers to this phenomenon as the 'geographical center of attention.' Animals, specifically cats, will always lay in the exact location you want or need to be. That's why my cats sprawl across the hallway or my beagle stretches the entire length of the stair.
Whatever. At least they aren't fighting. Have you experienced you own version of Dog Wars? How about the Geographical Center of Attention? I believe this has to be a universal truth like gravity or something.
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Also, the winner of Free Book Friday is Summer! Email me with your snail mail info at: firstname.lastname@example.org to claim your prize.