July 11, 2011

White Dog's nose was cold as she burrowed her face under my arm so she could kiss the tears from my cheek. "It will be all right, momma," she whispered, "we are making progress everyday even if it seems like this is a big step back."

We had just returned from taking Quinn to the Vet. Last night he seemed to be favoring his right front leg and this morning he winced when we touched the area between his neck and shoulder which overnight had developed a lump. It looked like an allergic reaction to a spider bite. Mid morning the mass burst sending blood trickling down TOWD's beautiful coat. He was running a slight fever.

Dr. Julia brought our boy into the exam room. He had a shaved square across his shoulder revealing what you see above. I could only stroke Quinn's face, I had no words. The vet gently explained that the abscess was an infected puncture wound, which she was pretty certain was a dog bite. My heart leaped as I thought of the argument the night of Quinn's brave dinner victory when he and YoYoMa tangled right before bed. We had quickly separated the two and thoroughly (we thought) checked both for damage. Dr. Julia said a puncture often has no blood and closes up pretty quickly plus Quinn's thick coat masked any signs of trauma. She prescribed some antibiotics and a pain-killer and gave instructions for warm compresses as needed. He must return in 5 days.

It is her opinion that male dogs are simply hardwired to play rough and that through some mystery in Quinn's past he has abandoned his nature (whether past attacks or abuse or discipline we will never know). She expressed doubts that YoYoMa will learn to live without these occasional challenges to Quinn and that while they can live together we will always need to vigilant. It sounded like life in the Gulag.

I feel like a terrible momma. I am trying very hard not to be VERY mad at YoYoMa for what he did. I refuse to believe that this situation cannot be altered. Love and gentle redirection HAS to offer hope...it simply must be a path to harmonious living! Our family made a vow to each pup we have brought into our lives that they will always be safe, protected, respected, and loved. How do I keep that promise when Quinn's danger shares his home? And how do I not punish YoYoMa for simply being what he was designed to be?...wrestling and bitey-face are not crimes in the dog world.

As I held the Little White Dog of My Heart and cried into her fur, I felt another nose push into my back. It was Yo. He looked at me and gave a half-hearted tail wag. Then he laid down next to me resting his head on the curve of my hip. I wanted to push him away and be angry; instead, without consulting my brain, my hand reached down and softly stroked his ears. "We have to work this out, Big Boy," I said. "I refuse to accept that we cannot all live peaceably together. Help me make that happen."


Kari in WeHo said...

I know you all can make it work together. I know many multi-male dog households that have made it work. It takes time and patience, both of which I know you will go great lengths to give both pups


24 Paws of Love said...

We are living proof that it is possible. It may never be perfect, but it is possible. Don't give up. There is too much love to be had. I also understand your anger. It is difficult to watch these bundles of love hurt each other. I have been there too.

Time and patience. It will work out. Hang in there. :)

Mack said...

I just know he was saying "I'm sorry mama".

The Thundering Herd said...

Don't worry about not detecting the puncture. We have missed a few over the years.

Do you read Patricia McConnell? As The Herd grew, I began reading her books and apply her advice all of the time.

ForPetsSake said...

I'm sorry your pack is struggling with this. You're right in trusting your heart and not losing hope. They will keep peace, even if only a tenupus one...it is what makes the most ssnse in the animal world. Encouraging vibes to you!

Random Felines said...

Don't give up. For every step back that we seem to focus on, there are small steps forward. Mom learned that with our recent feral kittens.....it seemed so hard to socialize them and yet Lucy was begging for attention this morning. Sometimes you have to look back at how far you have come overall to realize that one step back - even if is seems huge - can be overcome. We have faith that the White Dogs can overcome this.... (and if it makes you feel better, mom has missed a couple of bite wounds before too)

Remington said...

It will all work out....

Brian said...

The WD love can AND WILL make anything possible, time it will take.

Ginger Jasper said...

With love, patience and understanding you have come so far allready. Please dont despair it will work out and they will all live in harmony I just know it. You saved them all to live a happier, safer life and that will come through. Hang in there my friends hang in there. Hugs GJ x

Stella said...

The Herd suggested reading Patricia McConnell and I wonder if you have read her blog at

She addresses so many issues that are like the one that is causing you worry right now. I know also that she will answer questions from writers as her time permits.

If anyone can make Quinn, Yoyo work this out, you can. We will be cheering you on!

Jo, Stella and Zkhat

Amy and The House of Cats said...

Oh we have missed so much - we didn't realize there was a bit of fighting happening. It is so hard but it is their nature - I have that same problem at our house with the cats. It takes time but they all will get along - it won't be perfect but it is infinitely better then anything before. They both have different temperments and they need to learn to get along - redirection will help, and knowing that they aren't a threat and that they will all be equally loved will help too. I understand being upset by it and I know that it is human nature (well, for most of us it is at least) to feel you could have done something but in all honesty you really did everything righ - it just happens this way sometimes. And it doesnt' make you love them less, it just means that you have to be patient more. Remember that no matter how smart they seem it still takes them longer to learn things then it does for humans - it will work out and we know you are doing a great job with all of them, dispite the occasional setback.

rottrover said...

Many good suggestions. We're just sending you all some zen energy...

♥♥♥ The OP Pack ♥♥♥ said...

We are so sorry. These things happen. With the thick coats, it is often hard to find those injuries. We will all cross our paws for all of you - we know you are doing your very best to make it work.

Hugs, the OP Pack

rottrover said...

I don't know how you feel about Cesar Millan. I'm a huge fan, but not everyone is. Here's a bit about pack dominance:http://www.cesarsway.com/askcesar/aggression/Battle-for-Dominance

Just thought it might help.

Black and Brown dog mom :-)

Bailey Be Good! said...

Awww, I'm sorry you had a little set back. Mommy says that sometimes you have to go a little backward in order to go a little forward. Keeping all of you in my puppy prayers!!

Woofs & hugs!

~Bailey (Yep, I'm a girl!)

Sagira said...

Aww...I'm sorry that things are still not 100%. I hope that things do calm down and it all works out.

Asta said...

Pleez Pleez don't cwy White dog Mama
Quinn's booboo will heal and bootiful white fuw will gwow back and it IS pawsibull fow all of you to live peacabully, but even if thewe awe occasional tussels..it's not because any of the white doggies awe bad in any way..boys and even giwls can play wuff sometimes..pleez don't be sad..you have wondewful woofies and they awe full of love and sweetness.
I love all the white dogs and you white dog mom vewy much
smoochie healing kisses

Tweedles -- that's me said...

You have so much love in your heart- you cannot give up.
It is not your fault that you did not notice the boo booo.

You are doing all that you know to do,, and trying to find more ways to help.

Do not be mean to your own heart,,
you are a good mama. It will work out

Isis said...

Poor boy- and we really think that if yoyo had MEANT to get quinn he would've gotten him so you would know. we still believe it was play and just an accident due to yoyo not being able to see- he probably just misjudged. I am sending healing vibes my friends!

KB said...

I can imagine how you feel, and I think that you are one of the kindest, bravest, and most compassionate people that I've run across.

I hope that your heart's wishes for a peaceable outcome are granted.