Homefront: Less joy, more jealousy on three-dog night
January 10, 2010
Glory is accustomed to being the canine queen of Castle Zich. So she was in for quite a shock over Christmas when she had to share my parents’ house with two other pups.
The first couple of days we were there, Glory was happy to be back on the farm where she could chase horses and cows to her heart’s delight.
She never seems to care that by the time we get back to Virginia, she is limping and needs a week to get back to her old self again.
Being a country dog must be worth the pain because she does the same thing every time we return to the Tar Heel state, scooting her bulky body underneath fences so she can practice her Border Collie herding skills.
This time, Glory was in for quite a surprise on Christmas Eve when my little sister showed up with her new puppy.
A younger, less tolerant Glory would have refused to share any space with the fat little English bulldog that waddled around my parents’ home.
Glory is not a very social animal to begin with, and has been known to attack other dogs without provocation. (It probably surprises no one to read that she is not the most popular pet in our neighborhood.)
When my sister, Melody, showed up with her puppy on Christmas Eve, Glory’s reaction was to ignore him in the hopes he would go away.
It didn’t work, of course. In fact, the wrinkled little ball of energy worked even harder to get her attention.
Glory went upstairs and tried to nap in the corner of a bedroom, as far from the roly-poly pup as she could get. That didn’t deter her “cousin” from sneaking into the room and jumping up and down right in front of her.
When I tattled on the puppy for teasing Glory, Melody scolded him. But neither of us could keep from laughing at the sight of Glory all backed into a corner, looking miserable, as the puppy jumped up and down in front of her.
Glory growled while the puppy continued his happy little doggie dance inches from her nose. His body language said, “Come on, let’s play!”
Glory’s body language said, “Go back where you came from, Hyper Dog!”
To keep Glory from pouncing, Melody and I separated our pooches, putting two closed doors between them. The result was that Glory enjoyed a winter’s nap while the frustrated puppy peed on the floor.
The next day, my folks’ house grew full as my older sister and brother arrived with their families. Then Melody’s boyfriend showed up with her other pet, a newly adopted bulldog named Ollie.
The most admirable trait of that animal is her tendency to sit in a chair for hours, as long as nobody bothers her.
Glory and Ollie got along great because they stayed at opposite ends of the house from one another. The only time they crossed paths was when one of them had to go out for a potty break.
The puppy, however, wasn’t about to let his new sister just sit there watching him have all the fun. He wanted her to get in on the action, too.
Soon there were two bulldogs rolling around the floor among the shredded wrapping paper while my parents, siblings and I celebrated the holiday.
Glory continued to sulk upstairs.
Looking back, I have to say we fared pretty well to make it through our stay with no dogfights or broken lamps. Glory was thrilled when we loaded her up and headed back to Virginia, but even happier was my mom to once again have a pet-free home.
A mother of three boys, Pam Zich has been married to a Marine for 19 years and currently lives in Springfield, Va. You may e-mail her at firstname.lastname@example.org or visit her Web site at www.lifeonthehomefront.com.