Monday, March 8, 2010

The Harmony of Dogs

One of the first questions the uninitiated ask us Dog Rock Gods (DRGs) is, “Don’t they fight?”

Strangely no-one ever asked me that as a schoolteacher and yet the answer in my former profession was “always”, while the current answer is ….. “No”.

Dogs are pack animals and quickly find the place in the pack where they are happiest. My, recently gushed over, Ruby, for example, is firmly a bottom dog. An eight-week-old pup crosses her path and she’s quickly on her back begging, “Can I be bottom? Can I please? Let me follow you!”

Just as obviously, there is usually a clear top dog. Currently in Critter Club, that dog is Toast. He didn’t have to fight his way to get there, he just assumed the mantle as previous dogs got a little older, and made less frequent appearances.

The interesting thing, and hugely annoying while we’re at it, is that almost any undesexed male dog (UMD) in the park, will come and size himself up against Toast.

This is why we refuse to walk undesexed dogs. While all of them don’t automatically want to dominate, many do. And those who don’t can often attract the type of attention Toast gets while being positively unable to handle it.

With poor Toast it usually goes like this:

Toast is busy playing with his pack when UMD comes charging from nowhere, chest out, hackles raised, licking lips furiously.

“Hey. I’m better than you. I got balls, see? Let me beat you up and have your pack.”

Toast, to his credit, holds himself steady, doesn’t back down, but does not fight.

Meanwhile, and this happened this week, DRGs start screaming at the (usually male) owner (no comment) to “Get your dog away.”

Owner: “He’s not a problem. Let them sort it out for themselves.”

DRGs: “We are responsible for these dogs, this is not a playground where the bully wins, we will not take a dog of ours home covered in blood. Now please take your dog away!”

Remarkably the owner usually scurries off with his tail between his legs.


No fights at Critter Club.

As for the unsnipped … drives us nuts.

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