5 May 2005
There is a power struggle going on between the bitches in this house and it's anybody's guess who's going to win.
It's actually been going on for some time. Sheila waltzed in here, sized up the situation, announced to Kimba that she was in charge and Kimba would just have to learn to like it and that was that.
If you try to pet Kimba, Sheila will come running from wherever in the house she is--she can hear your hand touching Kimba's fur from upstiars. "How dare you pet that little pipsqueak, when I am the queen around here!" Walt tried to pet Kimba this morning and Sheila came racing in and began licking Kimba's head furiously. Walt felt that Sheila thought his hand was somehow "unclean."
It's Sheila who decides when Kimba should wake up, pawing her with that big foot of hers as Kimba sleeps contentedly in her bed.
I dunno...Kimba is close to 100 in human years. She's remarkably patient for a crotchety old lady.
Sheila teases her unmercifly until Kimba finally lets her have it, barking that shrill, ear-piercing bark of hers.
Tonight the power struggle escalated a bit.
I had been at the pet shop to buy that ridiculously expensive dog food the trainer suggested for the dogs (Innova) and while there I picked up one of those big chew bones for Sheila. This one was a potato product which she could chew on, and eventually eat. I figured I'd save it and give it to her around 4-5, the time of day when she gets crazy.
My plan worked beautifully. Walt went out to carry some twigs to the street and, remembering Sheila's earlier Great Adventure, we blocked off the entrance to the dog door so she couldn't get out. But she's a smart dog and when she's determined, she'll find a way around a barrier. I could hear her checking out the barrier to see if she could get around it, so I hauled out the potato bone and she went to work on that, forgetting that Walt was outside with an open gate to the outdoors.
Later, I was out in the kitchen fixing dinner and became aware that Kimba was at my feet, chewing something. Sheila was standing behind her, head cocked quizzically, as if she didn't believe it. Kimba had apparently stolen the end piece of Sheila's bone and had come out to chew it by my feet, where she figured she was safe.
I could tell that Sheila was getting more frustrated with the pipsqueak chewing her chew toy and figured that we were not too far from Sheila's deciding to exert her dominance.
But I was making a tuna-potato thing for dinner and had just scraped the tuna out of one of those marvelous foil packets (love 'em! I will never buy tuna in a can again!). While I have been very conscientious about never giving Sheila food from the dinner table or from the kitchen when I'm cooking, I made an exception this time and I let her have the foil packet that the tuna had come in.
She headed back to the family room with her prize and Kimba finished the chew toy.
Later, Kimba came back into the kitchen carrying a strip of the tuna packet. Sheila was behind her, again trying to figure out how Kimba had gotten part of the tuna packet away from her.
I went back into the family room and both dogs followed me. Sheila gave Kimba the evil eye and Kimba dropped the foil strip. Sheila stood over it, as if on guard. Then Sheila picked up the second piece of the foil packet and put her foot on the third piece. She had now effectively blocked Kimba from taking any of the three pieces of the tuna packet on the floor
Score one for Her Highness Sheila.
Kimba doesn't really care about dominance. Sheila can be as dominant as she wants. Kimba's motto is "slow and steady" and when she's determined to do something, she doesn't make a big issue of it, she just quietly...does it.
Sheila may think she's the top dog around here, but I've been watching all the action for the past several months and I can see that, in her quiet way, Kimba has established herself as the one in charge--she just lets Sheila think that she is the boss when it suits her.
Dogs. They are so funny.
PHOTO OF THE DAY
Chippa: Always "top dog"