Saturday, November 22, 2014

Still Our Puppy

It's been three years since Abby joined our family. The cuteness in this photo still works with us but she has a possessive streak in her that can make her aggressive, even violent. We've taken steps to understand and correct that, with certain vitamin supplements and an herbal remedy that Stella herself was fed in her early, manic days in our Alzheimer-infused household.
That treatment worked; there have been no further Abby-induced fights since we began her supplements but Abby is a dog and like all dogs, whose moods are harder to read than humans, who can't express their feelings in words, we still watch for warning signs in Abby.
Just this morning, as Abby began to eat her breakfast, Fern the cat came to have a drink of water out of the dish and Abby growled at her. So I backed her off her food dish and made her wait and watch as Fern had her drink. It's those moments you need to be present for and deal with immediately. Abby gets away with A LOT because she is cute -- and really, she is; she never outgrew that face in the photo -- and she does not have a mind of her own like Stella does, which I so appreciate; perhaps it's because she has slept with us since she was a puppy but Abby is more in tune with us, but also more attached. We still debate about letting her sleep with us. I know I'd sleep better, and we'd assert our dominance better, but we're soft humans, we give in to the cuteness. 
They are two very different dogs, this little and big, this brindle and fawn, this Abby and Stella. Yet both of them have an aggressive streak that has made my life miserable more often than not. There is something I'm meant to learn about dogs, about myself, and I haven't figured it out yet.

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