Road travels and remodeling has done an outstanding job in keeping me from my good ol’ op-ed blog (hope I didn’t lose too many folks). Nearly 5 weeks and many allergic reactions to sheet rock dust ago we started our master bedroom/master bathroom remodel. That should wrap up early next week and then we can finally shower (eeeewwwww) and get some sleep….But what does any of that have to do with the post title you ask? Not too much.
Almost 2 weeks ago we traveled to Kansas to visit parents (mostly) and pick up a new Scottie dog for our family. Zoey is our new 3-year old female that is full of life, energy, and laughter-induced antics…and yes, the hormonal balance remains out of kilter in our home (as it has for many years).
Last weekend OFS was in town for a friend’s bachelor’s party, and he was able to eat a late lunch with us on Saturday, and then on Sunday, his time with family involved a car ride to the Emergency Care. You see Beeba experienced firsthand (or should I say first forearm) a vicious Scottie Terrier dog fight in our living room, and at his feet. My guess is he will avoid, if at all possible, any future encounters with the maker of a 4-puncture dog bite to the writing hand forearm. Yup, OFS got chomped by Mackie Queen of Scots trying to break up the dog fight that started when I wasn’t in the room. Damn dogs. Imagine this: an early Sunday afternoon with Tyler’s forearm bleeding at the bathroom sink while talking through gritted teeth, Deb yelling at the dogs, me on a dead sprint to the crime scene (I bet that was a sight to behold as well), dogs snarling, growling, and at each other’s juggler (so I exaggerate a bit), an 18-pound Zoey yanked off the dog pile by the back of the neck and held at my-eye level so a few choice words could command her full and undivided attention, and Mackie coming up lame from the scuffle and leaving a blood trail across the tile floor. Good morning Tyler and welcome home….
Now it has been some time since I felt like I did after our adrenaline flow slowed down. Stupid me. These 2 alpha female dogs had all of 1 week together, and it was not a pleasant first week by any stretch of the imagination (or patience). I should have kept the dogs separated with Tyler’s arrival, and knew better than to let them be in a different location/room than me, especially with a visitor in the home that now became a temporary part of the canine co-existence equation. But I didn’t do either, and now I can add another father failure to my somewhat lengthy list, putting my son in a position of personal injury when it could have/should have been easily avoided. We sent OFS on his way later that Sunday afternoon with doctor’s instructions for dog bite first aid, his forearm wrapped, a bottle of amoxicillin, a bottle of hydrocodine, an ample supply of bandages, and a tearful apology. Believe it or not, I got no pictures of the afternoon events. But really my excuse is…I was preoccupied with the health concern and hope Beeba would come back for a visit sometime in the future.
Week 2 with Zoey has been better; it’s almost like the two of them know a wound was inflicted on OFS and they are regretful. These Scotties are smart, don’t you know.
To start this week, Monday morning I was advised by an obedience trainer to “place (as in “get rid of”) the dog you’re least attached to, outside the home”. Huh? What kind of advice is that from a dog obedience training professional?
Monday afternoon, the lady owner of the North Texas Scottie Rescue organization was called and tips and lecture on new ground rules for the house were given, and she said our 2 dogs needed at least a month together before making any rash dog-owner decisions. Margie takes care of up to 25 Scotties at a time, I figured she of all people knew a thing or two about alpha training, command structure, and doggie discipline.
Margie’s advice: “Be an a-hole; be mean; be in charge” and the dogs are becoming familiar with my “dark side” now. And for the record, Margie’s advice about putting 15 pennies in an empty 2-liter soda bottle and pound-with-all-your-might on walls, furniture, floors and dog noses (but by no means beat them physically)…an absolute fantastic attention-getter and squasher of tense situations (it has also been an anger management tool for me :) ). Only one Scottie skirmish since the chomping of OFS’ forearm has happened, so we still have a ways to go with the re-training. But I am not letting up or thinking this is all over and done. After all these years, someone has finally told me my natural a-hole personality should not be suppressed and it’s “OK” to be one…hmmm. :)
In the mean time, my sincere apologies to OFS and promises of something different the next time he’s home continue. And if/when he does plan that next trip, hopefully the OFS and OFDIL will want to come if assurances of no biting being allowed are freely (and frequently) offered.
I really am sorry, Beeba. Hope you’re healing…hope you’re not out of long sleeve shirts to wear (to cover your battle scars).