Our canine herd is now down to two. Both of our remaining dogs are rescue dogs. Dora, of newspaper renown, was found on the side of the road in 2012. Katie is a Labrador rescue. I have never figured out all that happened to Katie, but she has some issues. They are “cute” issues, but they are issues nonetheless. If you sit long enough, Katie will sit beside you and place the top of her head against your forehead…and push. Maybe she doing some kind of Lab mind meld that I don’t understand, but expect Katie to go head to head with you. She will gently paw at you until you pet her. I enjoy watching her trying to crawl into my lap by stealth. A seventy pound dog can’t sneak anywhere.
Dora is a canine terrorist; I mean a terrier of some mixed sort. She has always been a mean little dog. She loves her owners and her owners love her, but beyond us there is not much love for her. We worked with her so hard as a puppy with all her physical problems that we created a spoiled monster. Everyone who comes to the house is afraid of that little dog. She has in the course of this “winter” dispatched at least three moles. There is a working dog in her gene pool. If it is on the ground or slightly under the ground, Dora thinks it is fair game.
Not so long ago, Bailey, our oldest lab was euthanized. Bailey was a big sweet lab. She was technically my son’s dog. When I first met Bailey I thought, “This is not a puppy. She is a pony.” She was always a huge dog. She had suffered with arthritis and was to the point of being miserable all the time. I knew that putting her to sleep would change our doggy dynamic. Bailey was the very gentle alpha dog among the dogs. I miss Bailey and all her shenanigans. She was so large that even in her waning years she was a force to be reckoned with.
With Bailey gone a little tribal dispute broke out among the two remaining dogs. Dora was beating the fool out of Katie on a regular basis. Labs are lovers not fighters. Until one day, Dora went too far and Katie fought back. Oh boy did Katie fight back. I learned from breaking up a previous skirmish to let the fight run its course.
Katie kicked canine butt! Dora slinked off. Dora ended up at the Vets office and after a week of drains, being laughed at for wearing the Elizabethan collar, and antibiotics, Dora is back to her old spunky self. She does have a higher respect for Katie. I think the rising alpha dog is now a beta. The beat up beta is now the surprised alpha. I think the Dog Whisperer should be called in to referee.
I was thinking about the canine chaos along with my Lenten discipline. I’m fasting from being the top dog. I think I have learned that even if you are top dog that is canine behavior and God has called us to behavior that is a little more divine.