This was written when I thought the puppies would be here until next week, but I wanted to keep in the bit about their personalities, so I'm going to post it anyway, just a day later than anticipated.
3 April 2005
We had a terrible situation develop the other night.
Sheila, at age 2, is still a puppy who doesn't realize that she's adult size with adult weight. She loves playing with Kimba, who, at 14, isn't always as eager to play with Sheila.
It's always hard to know with Kimba. There are time when she seems to be playing, other times when she seems to be saying "go away, kid, and don't bother me," in unmistakable dog-ese.
The usual order of things is that Kimba is sitting in the middle of the room, looking off into space (well, she is nearly 100 in human years, you know!) and Sheila will come up behind her and paw her with that huge paw. Kimba will whirl around, teeth bared, and bark her shrill yappy bark. Then they get into it, with Kimba giving as much as she gets and she really seems to be enjoying it.
But not last night.
I didn't see it start, but suddenly I was aware that there was a serious dog fight going on in the family room. I had to pull Sheila off of Kimba and thought that had ended it, but then Walt realized that there was blood all over the family room.
Kimba was bleeding profusely from her head and I couldn't see whether she was seriously hurt or not. I noticed that she was holding her head to one side.
While Walt wiped up the blood and Sheila looked genuinely concerned, I got Kimba mopped up. It seemed to be just a head wound--which always bleeds a lot--and once I got it mopped up, I thought the bleeding had stopped.
We sat down to dinner, warily watching Sheila, who was intently watching Kimba. Kimba kept hold her head to one side.
When dinner was over, we discovered she was still bleeding, only it was coming from the outside of her ear. I got that cleaned up too and the bleeding finally seemed to stop. When she got up this morning, she seems to be fine, with just a bit of caked blood on top of her head. (If she still seemed to be favoring one side of her head, I would have taken her in to the vet).
Now, alas, I'm concerned about future altercations. I don't think that Sheila started out intending to fight with Kimba, but Kimba gets serious and then Sheila responds. This hasn't happened before the the past nearly-year that we've had Sheila, but it has happened now, so I'm going to have to be on the alert.
On the other end of the age spectrum are the puppies, whose personalities are so very different. Demetrius is like the little brother who is going to become part of the gang or die trying. He gets batted around by an overzealous Sheila and snapped at by grumpy Kimba, but he just keeps coming back for more. If Sheila and Kimba are together, you can bet Demmie will be right there.
Hammie, in contrast, wants to play, but is afraid of Sheila. He's the one who will crouch down in an invitation to play, and then back up very rapidly when Sheila actually looks at him. But he is the one who attacks Demetrius. I sat here laughing yesterday as I watched Demetrius try to get to Sheila while Hammie was attached to his tail, dragging him backwards to behind the recliner.
On the other hand, Hammie is the aggressor, the one who usually starts the fights, the one who growls and barks. I laughed out loud watching him grab Demmie's tail and pull him, protesting loudly, across the family room.
I could never actually raise puppies. I would never get anything done because they're too much fun just to sit and watch playing. They're better than a 3-ring circus.
PHOTO OF THE DAY