"Water Dog Wannabe"
DR. JECKLE AND MS. HYDE
28 August 2005
Sydney is such a sweetheart. She's the right size, she's very cute, she's very affectionate and she and Sheila hit it off from day one. I loved watching them chase each other around the yard, and then through the house, making the circle of the kitchen counter, and back out again. Sydney's little paws made this clicking sound on the Pergo that reminded me of some cartoon character standing in place and getting his feet up and running.
When the two of them tired of playing, they'd come in and lie down next to each other and lick each other. Ashley once said that she'd never met a dog like Sheila who spent so much time licking other dogs around the mouth. But Sydney does. It's like one long French kissing session watching the two of them investigate each other's mouth and lips with their tongues.
At night we would all go to sleep. Me in the recliner with Sydney on a blanket next to my chair, Sheila either on the floor or on her (ripped up) bed, and Kimba in her little bed off in a corner.
Sydney has settled in here very well. I didn't realize that this cute little dog had a darker side.
It was a day or so ago that she and Sheila had a fight. It started when they both did what they'd been doing for days. Sydney jumped up with her paws on one of my knees, and Sheila with her paws on the other knee. Sydney lit into her immediately. It sounded terrible, looked terrible, but broke up as soon as I yelled at the two of them. I wasn't too worried. Sheila's a big dog and can handle herself.
What seemed to be happening was that as Sydney began to feel more "settled" in here, she was trying to establish dominance, and let Sheila know that I was her person.
But the next day Sydney attacked Kimba. I had given each of the dogs a treat and Kimba always chews hers into pieces, with the pieces falling on the floor till she eats them. Ashley had told me that Sydney had "food issues," so I've been making sure that each dog had her own eating space and that had been going well. In fact, Sydney seemed to respect the others' food bowls and not try to attack them when they were eating, if she finished first. But when she saw dog biscuit crumbs on the floor, suddenly there was this bloody battle going on and I had to drag Sydney off of Kimba.
Since then it's been like an armed camp around here. I haven't felt comfortable just relaxing and am always wondering when the next fight is going to break out.
Yesterday afternoon, Sydney attacked Kimba again. I'm sure that what provoked it was Kimba growling at her for invading her space. She's always done that with the puppies--she doesn't attack them, but she quietly growls to let them know that she really doesn't want them around. I couldn't blame her for growling at Sydney after the attack earlier in the afternoon.
I was nervous leaving them alone and going off to review a show last night, but hoped for the best. The routine around here when I get home is that as soon as I come in the door, the dogs get a treat (it's a ploy that I've used to keep Sheila from wanting to run out of the house when the door opens). As soon as I come in, Sheila always runs to the kitchen and sits there, very patiently, waiting for her treat.
Only last night, Sheila didn't sit in her usual place by the stove. She sat at the far end of the kitchen. I gave her her treat and Sydney hers. Kimba stood back and didn't want hers, which I thought was odd. Sheila is used to getting two dog biscuits, but when I tried to give her her second one--by now Sydney was between us, Sheila just kept backing up and wouldn't come near me (and Sydney) to take it.
When I went into the family room, I noticed that one of the recliners was pushed way out of position. They slide around easily on the Pergo and I had this feeling that perhaps a dog fight had gone on while I was away.
I came in here to work a bit before going to sleep. Sheila came in and lay at my feet, as she always does. Kimba climbed under my desk, her little cave, as she always does. Suddenly a bloody battle broke out. Sydney had attacked Kimba again. I yelled at her and broke it up. An uneasy truce ensued.
Came time for sleep. I climbed into my recliner, Sydney sat on her blanket, and Kimba came out of my office. As soon as she got near my chair, Sydney was on her again. Kimba ran upstairs to the landing and I decided there was no way I could leave Sydney out all night, so I locked her in the crate.
This morning, Kimba refused to come down from upstairs and Sheila, who seems more human every day, sat on the landing with her, barking whenever Sydney came near the stairs and licking Kimba on the head.
I realized that this was not going to work and I sadly sent Ashley an e-mail saying that Sydney has to go.
It's one thing to inflict these pesky puppies on Kimba, who has actually started to tolerate them, and even kind of gruffly like them, but when an adult dog starts disrupting her life in her golden years, it's gone too far, and I can't do that to her.
You kind of expect adult dogs going into foster care to have issues. They have either been abandoned or abused or given up by the only stable home they've known. I may bitch a bit about quirks (like Eddie insisting on being on the kitchen table!), but I understand that they're trying to find their place in their mixed up world, and I and try to give them some special attention and make them feel comfortable. But when the quirk involves the safety--or even the comfort level--of the dogs who live here, I can't let that be tolerated.
It's funny, because of all the adult dogs who have paraded through here in the past couple of months, Sydney was the one that I actually thought about adopting, and in the end, Sydney has been the worst of the lot.
PHOTO OF THE DAY
I have to admit it broke my heart to see how happily