So while I only rarely thought of Hannah as my child or baby (rather than my dog), since getting Dante I have been overwhelmed by the sense of having two children. Two children with a relationship much like siblings: Hannah thinks Dante is fun sometimes but our relationship has totally changed and so has her behavior towards me. Less respectful of my instructions, more prone to ignoring me (but pays attention to Kevin just fine) and so on. And while Dante is fun sometimes he’s also a total PITA who doesn’t understand that Hannah needs alone time sometimes. Meanwhile Dante thinks everything Hannah has is best.
Late last night after I’d gone to bed (but Kevin was still up so Dante was uncrated) the veneer of humanity fell away. I wasn’t yet asleep when some rustlings at the side of the bed turned into a nightmarish roar of snarls, scrabbling toenails, thumping bodies, yelps and a sort of wet noise. I rolled over to the side of the bed and I think there was this knot of dog, but I reacted more quickly than I observed: I placed my hands on Hannah’s ribcage. She instantly calmed and Dante fled to the hall where he crouched very low. I petted Hannah and listened to Kevin stomping back. He checked out Dante for actual injuries (which we didn’t find), and then we watched as Hannah came over to sniff both of them. Kevin gave her a cute little lecture about how she had to treat Dante like her puppy.
Later, after he left, I watched as Hannah went back to where Dante crouched in the hall. She sniffed him thoroughly and then stepped over him several times. He licked her chin. Her tail was very high. She invited me out to the living room, where she clearly wanted either Dante crated or Kevin to also come to bed. But her tail was only half-mast with me, and she obeyed the ‘roll over’ command happily when I gave it, so I don’t think she was feeling too oaty. After I went back to bed (sans Kevin, Dante still uncrated) she settled onto the floor in her usual place and I watched Dante hover near the door for a while and then eventually wander off.
There seems to be less growling over Dante invading her space this morning. I think she really did want Dante to be like the cats and humans: fun to play with but otherwise not invasive, not pushy. But Dante’s a dog raised by dogs.Â I’m curious if he’s an extra dominant dog or just normal for an adolescent puppy. And I’m cautiously glad Hannah kicked his ass (but we’ll have to see the ongoing consequences of it).