June 5, 2011

White Dog looked up from her post breakfast grooming and snapped at YoYoMa, "Now look what you have done! I hope you are happy!"

She was referring to my decree that we were going to spend the entire day
brushing up on our manners and working on our family interactions. "I know it has been hot," Steve said, "but the cooler is on now and it is pleasant in the house. Everyone has had a lovely meal. Now we need to just spend the day appreciating what a wonderful family we are."

"Dad is is going to be your guide to niceness; Momma, me, THE Alpha Dog, remember?, is going to work on attitude adjustment and basic command response. I love you all but when I say 'come' I want you all to lose the Eskie delay of deciding whether you want to before you do it." The White Dog Army looked at Steve and smiled, wagging and knowing that lots of treats and hugs where coming. They looked at me and sighed, knowing that there were going to be some demands and expectations to meet before the payoff.

So we hung out together, all of us. The furry ones napped as Michael sorted through his "stuff" in a cleanup attempt. They supervised Steve's drawing work. We stopped for pets of encouragement and even a duck jerky break. Every so often my "Un Un UN!" duck call punctuated the house stopping someone in his tracks for a readjustment. By mid afternoon everyone was doing better...even Michael got "UH UN" ed for leaving the front door open (the cooler is on now).

We practiced stopping immediately and coming. We practiced sit and stay. We civilly walked past and sat next to each other. We sat and received treats one at a time without pushing or trying to grab out of turn. And everyone did famously...it was as if yesterday's "incident" had never occured. Kindness filled the house.

The advice and suggestions and encouragement you left were helpful beyond thanks. It convinced me that the situation was fixable and that we were not terrible pawrents. You gave us some insights and ideas that we will use to subtly change our approach toward achieving a lasting harmony in our home. Best of all we found comfort that we were not alone in the wilderness trying to solve this puzzle. Again, we are amazed at the richness of this community and your generous hearts.

We know this is not over and that everyone finding their place is a process that truly never ends. We are committed, all of us two- and four-legged members of The White Dog Army, to form a pack, to be a family, to share our lives and love. Watch us grow together!


Teddy Bear said...

Sounds like a great day of learning and love.

Teddy Bear & Sierra

24 Paws of Love said...

I missed yesterday's post, but wanted to let you know I have been there many times. I struggle with my two males. One thing I have discovered is that the one that attacks, may not be the one who started it. If your boys have been challenging each other and YoYoMa is new to the group, he may well be trying to establish his pack order.

I have also found with my two males that their jealousy is stronger around Daddy. We have let the our packs decide their order and I have found it changes almost daily. The only constant is that when it is something important, Brut is always first. Otherwise they tend to fend for themselves. All of them have stood up and back down to someone. This is just my experience with my dogs. I hope you can find something that works for you.

It can be worked out with love. You are not alone and there is a great blogging community to help.

Mr. Pip said...

"Everyone finding their place is a process that never ends" That's beautiful and true for dogs and humans!

Your pal, Pip

Remington said...

All things take time....

Brian said...

I know y'all can do it...those White Dogs are so smart!

ForPetsSake said...

Oh my goodness! I'm just catching up now...this is a tough one. But definitely not insurmountable! The good news is that it sounds like you're doing everything right. The advice that "they will work it out: is sound as long as there are strong leaders to defer to. We've had issues with our girls in the past (Arwen is really, really a strong female presence). Nyxie has always deferred to her and thankfully has the grace to challenge her skillfully when the need arises.
The main goal is to reaffirm that you and the humans are always in control. This way, there's no vacuum of power to fill by a small furry 4-legger. Kudos on a good solution and they will find their roles in the pack, even if they are rearranged a bit, peace will prevail from your love of them all. Good luck - positive vibes sent your way!!

♥♥♥ The OP Pack ♥♥♥ said...

We had actually planned to send you a followup email today about establishing yourself as the pack leader - it looks like you are already doing that. You will be amazed at how much that will help.

You have gotten lots of very good advice here, and we know between your smarts and the advice and your love for the pups, in the end all will be fine.

Woos ~ Phantom, Thunder, and Ciara

Kari in WeHo said...

sounds to me like great progress was made


Suka said...

hey White Dog Army,

Sounds like you had a very good, instructional day. I know things will work out in time, and in their own way. You have been given such amazing advice. Between that, and your very smart humans, your Pack will finds it way to adapt to each other and all your quirks! :->

I am staying along for the ride, so I look forward to watching you all evolve!