Monday, July 10, 2017

Dog Fireworks

We had seven dogs in our house on the 4th of July. Bennie, our own lovable chiweenie pup; Grover, the last of the last litter of orphaned pups we raised by hand; and Kaylee, the Mama poodle mix with her four 4 week old puppies, more fosters.

What could go wrong?


When I offered to help foster Kaylee and pups (Mal, Wash, Inara, and River), I knew it would be a bit of a challenge to get Kaylee to accept Bennie's presence. She's a good mama dog and doesn't let strange dogs near her pups. She's not aggressive towards people, just other dogs. That said, the first day and night went well. Kaylee and Bennie politely sniffed each other's butts, and kept a careful distance from each other, observing each other furtively.

The next night, which was the 4th of July, we had plenty of fireworks indoors. Bennie started getting curious about the puppies. Kaylee was not pleased and decided to attack Bennie whenever he came close to her offspring. They didn't hurt each other and I mistakenly thought the first incident would solve their argument and Bennie would keep far away from her wee ones. Nope. Outside, Bennie deliberately started a fight with Miss Kaylee. I scolded him and told him                                                        he should be much more welcoming to our guests. He looked at me suspiciously
                                                   and curled his lip at Kaylee.

As soon as we came back inside, Bennie decided to go visit the pups. Kaylee objected rather strongly and attacked. Again, neither were hurt, but it sounded like they were tearing each other apart. This startled my husband and, though he rarely swears, he made up for it that night. It put Grover on alert, meaning he had to join in with nonstop barking. It startled me because, well, any sudden loud noises startle me and this was a combination of dog snarls, swearing, barking, and puppy yips.

We decided quickly that Kaylee and her pups would stay across the street at our neighbor's house. Deb was Kaylee's primary foster mama and we were filling in while Deb was out of town. Kaylee was immediately more relaxed at Deb's house. What had gone wrong?

Bennie and his pups
Mama Kaylee
I hadn't figured in Bennie's status as favorite Uncle. In his short life, he has spent 10 out of his 15 months in the company of tiny puppies; his brothers and all our foster pups. We had included Bennie every step of the way with the wee fosters and he had taken his job as Uncle Bennie very seriously. Kaylee's pups were just more wee ones for him to care for. He just couldn't understand why this ... dog... got in his way. He  thought they were his puppies.

We finally got everyone calmed down that night and I tried to convince Bennie the pups belonged to Kaylee. He wasn't totally convinced, but he agreed to drop the custody fight as long as he got visitation rights.

(ps.. who knows where the names come from?)

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