A doggie stressful weekend

What a weekend! Lots of yummy food and good company, but full of doggie stress. We had not one, but two incidents!

My family came over for Thanksgiving. The family was nice. All of the food was super yummy. Thank you to my lovely, non-stressed cook, Yun! I especially liked the stuffing, mashed potatoes, and gravy. The dogs got some scraps of turkey from the table. We were all very happy on Turkey Day!

Incident Number One: Loki bit my sister.

So, maybe this is going to sound bad, like I'm a terrible owner or person, but I'm not the least bit sorry that Loki bit my sister. For years (or as long as we've had Loki), I've been warning her to be careful with him, and she never listens to me. She had always carried around this idea that she's special, that Loki won't bite her because he loves her, that Loki has never bitten her before, so she doesn't need to be careful. To be fair, he does love her. She's great with him. She gives him lots of doting attention. But she also discards our warnings, even after I've told her about how he's bitten us in the past. Somehow it didn't matter to her that he's bitten us before, because in her mind she was special.

So what happened? Loki was sleeping in the corner while our family was playing Scrabble. When it was not her turn to play, my sister went over to the sleeping Loki and tried to pet him with her foot. Now, I don't know about you, but a big giant foot hovering over me while I'm sleeping seems pretty threatening. Sure you could do that to Jujube, and she wouldn't care. But definitely not Loki. He bit her foot.

No one was upset over it. I think Loki was a bit stressed, but we all left him alone. It wasn't his fault. I hope next time my sister will heed my warnings.

Incident Number Two. The dogs got into a fight.

This fight was over rawhide. They have both amicably eaten rawhide together many times before, so we were not supervising them particularly closely. Jujube finished hers first, and we think that she must have went for Loki's. No one was there when it started, so we can only guess as to what happened. I asked Yun, "Why do you think Juju that actually went for his rawhide? I mean, she could have just gotten too close to him as he was eating?"

His reply, "Because after I broke up the fight, she picked up his rawhide." (Of course, Yun took it away from her.)

The scene looked worse than it was. We had blood splattered over Loki and on the carpet. But where was it coming from? This question took a very long time to figure out. The fact that it took us so long to figure out where it was coming from goes to show how small the cut was. We must have looked Jujube over three times before Yun noticed that it was her nose. Actually, it was the area where the side of her nose meets her furry face. We cleaned it up and Yun applied a little bit of pressure there to stop the bleeding. It stopped shortly. Without the blood, you can't even tell that she was hurt at all.

Trying to assess Loki was a much bigger ordeal. We had to first muzzle him. Then one of us held him down while the other looked him over. He was not a happy camper. We cleaned off the blood on his fur, and tried to figure out if he was hurt. Nope, not hurt! It was just Juju's blood on his fur.

In a matter of hours, I went from "OMG, we have to go to the emergency vet!" to "Oh, you know, I don't think we need to go to the vet at all." Today I called the vet to ask about the risk of infection. They told me to just keep my eye out for any signs of infection, such as puss or swelling. If there are signs, then bring Juju in. If not, then don't worry.

The dogs were mostly back to normal within an hour. I fed them dinner together as I always do. They were fine and mostly acting normally. Dogs are resilient. Juju's extremely resilient. Loki's less resilient than Juju, but I can't imagine anything or anyone being as resilient than Juju. We left Loki alone for the rest of the night. We didn't want to add anything else to his stress level. If the fight didn't traumatize him, the body assessment with muzzle definitely did.

Although we still think Loki is alpha (and still support him in that role), Juju going after his rawhide seems like an alpha thing to do. Don't you think? I actually don't think that she will contend him for alpha status; I think that she's just an opportunist. If Loki left his rawhide unguarded for a second, she'd go for it.

Lesson learned: Supervise very carefully when giving rawhides.



Our last dog fight was in July. This one's at the end of November. And the behaviorist came back in May. It's not a bad track record. It's not perfect, but it definitely shows improvement.

3 comments:

Bibby said...

We had a German Shepherd and a Bouvier Des Flanders that had a huge fight one Christmas over a plastic sucker that held a thermometer in place on a fish tank. They tipped the dinner table over and trashed the dining room over something the size of a quarter.
I sometimes wonder if they pick up on our stress over the holidays and it heightens their reactions.

Frannie said...

It's crazy to think that people can not pick up on a dog's body language. My oldest Shiba gives a lot of warnings and although he would never seriously bite someone, he has snapped at and nipped my cousin a numerous amount of times. I thought he learned the first time, but he still complains about how 'vicious' my Tucker is.

Anonymous said...

I think it is difficult to tell which dog is alpha. I have male and female siblings that have been neutered and spayed. After more than 7 years they still squabble. One wins one time and then next it's the other. Within minutes, they are playing with each other. The only one who is left being upset is me!

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