Visitors & Dinner with Dogs

Loki and Jujube had two furry visitors this past weekend -- two Cavalier King Charles Spaniels, Ellie and Aidan. We had no major incidents, but I’ve to say, it was a bit stressful. Loki had met them before, but Jujube hadn’t. I couldn’t tell whether or not Loki remembered them. The first day that they were here, all dogs seemed to be fine. Ellie and Aidan are probably among the most submissive dogs with Ellie dominant over Aidan. Loki was the most curious, demanding to smell them immediately. Jujube was kind of aloof.

Ellie is pictured in the foreground and Aidan is in the background.

Here's a close up of Ellie.

As time went by, Loki started to show more aggressive behavior: barking, growling, and showing teeth. My guess is that he was trying to figure out how to get these two furballs to not run amuck all over his territory. Two sorts of things seemed to help Loki:

  1. When all of us humans were settled down (engaged in conversation, watching a movie, or playing a video game), then the dogs were also settled down. And since everyone was settled down, Loki settled down too. But if we were getting ready to go outside or coming back and there was a lot of movement going on, then Loki was more prone to be stressed and show aggression.
  2. It also seemed to help Loki when a human paid loving attention to him. He seemed to be calmer when that happened. My guess it that the doting affection diverted his attention from the other dogs to the human.
Jujube seemed to be fine with the furry visitors, so we let our guard down with her. But maybe that was not a good idea. Although it was Loki who showed the most aggressive behavior (barking, growling, and showing teeth), it was Jujube who caused Ellie to yelp and whimper one evening. We never exactly figured out what Jujube was doing. To me, it seemed like she was not being aggressive, but nipping them to herd them. Clearly, shibas are not herding dogs. But because she’s been a mother before, we wonder if she was treating them as she might treat her own pups in her attempt to herd them. Another idea is that she was just trying to solicit play. She never showed any warning signs, never barked, and appeared to be calm. She’s not one to not show warning signs. In the end, we can speculate all that we want, but we’ll ever really know what went through her mind.

On Saturday evening, we went to Pat Troy’s, a restaurant in Alexandria renowned for being very dog friendly. They allow dogs with diners in their back patio and even have a doggie menu. I had never been there before and was eager to try out this dining experience.

And what an experience it was! I don’t think I’ll ever go there with dogs again. They are known for being very dog friendly and also for having a doggie menu, so the back patio was completely full of dogs. Just at our table alone, we had four dogs. Then the table on one side of us had a lady with four dogs. And the table to the other side of us had a one large dog. I didn’t bother to count the rest, but there must have been at least 20 dogs in this one patio area. Too many dogs in too little of a space with nothing for the dogs to do is not a good idea.

The interesting thing is that we’ve dined plenty of times with Loki before without an issue. In California there are so many restaurants that are dog friendly that it’s not a big deal. When we’ve dined with Loki before, he’s often the only dog. At worst there were never more than a handful of dogs in an entire outdoor dining area. Here, Pat Troy’s is one of the few places that is dog friendly and even advertises itself as such, so there is an overflow of dogs.

Now, as if too many dogs in too small a space isn’t bad enough, there is also the doggie menu. When I first heard of this, I thought it was very cool. How fun!

But let’s think this through… too many dogs, too little space, plus FOOD. Isn’t that a recipe for disaster? The lady with four dogs ordered for her dogs off of the doggie menu. But one of her pups didn’t really care to eat the lamb or beef, so the chunks of meat just remained on the floor. We didn’t have any problems with it, as we kept a close eye on all of our dogs, but a doggie menu seems to be a bad idea.

We had plenty of barking (Loki always wants to get the last word in), but no real incidents. It’s not a place I’d go to again with dogs.

Here's Loki:

Here's Juju:

Here is Loki again:

1 comment:

Andrea said...

My Hachi has the same Martingale leash/collar set as Loki!

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