Tuesday, January 26, 2010


Multi-tasking in three languages is taxing, and multi-blogging in no fewer than six or seven different avatars can be exhausting, but there is no challenge on EARTH greater than "multi-dogging," when either/both dogs have conceived an animus for the other. As in the case of my pack: Budreaux and Hannah once were the best pals, slept, ate, and walked together. Then something happened, and all canine comity between them fled like a rabbit with Hannah in pursuit. I am lucky in that I have facilities and time to devote to giving both the best life I can give 'em. (When not in the house, at my feet or in/on the bed, Budreaux resides in a 300 sq ft 'abuelita," and when she's in and he's out, she has a heated shed.

There would be fierce impracticalities even if they could be reconciled, but it's a faint dream of mine, and in that vein, permit me to proffer this link to a great page from the folks at BadRap, the Bay-area Pibble rescue group. My situation --in which I didn't actually select the dogs, but let them select me; they literally followed me home-- violated the very first rule:
The Golden "Ca-Nine" Commandments of Multi-Dog Management

1. Select your pets carefully. Some dogs habe good, immediate chemistry; some don't.
(My first violation. See above--W)
2. Maintain a strong leadership role so the dogs respect house rules.

3. Keep pets separated when owners leave the house.

4. Know the most common fight-triggers, and work to prevent them.

5. Know how to break up fights, and how to prevent them from ever becoming more than spats
(Which all dogs will sometimes have--W)
.6. Involve everybody in the house in multi-dog management.
(Here's another one I'd fail, since there's only me. A vet pal once told me you shouldn't have more dogs than you have hands--W)

7. Understand that inter-dog dynamics can and will change over time, and temperament may undergo alteration, too.

8. Spread your affection and attention evenly and equitably. They notice.

9. There is no such thing as a second "first" encounter, so meeting new members of the pack is a big event.
Undertaking the care and responsibility for another being is never a matter to be attempted lightly, and thye difficulty of the task rises not arithmetically but geometrically with every additional life for which you assume responsibility. This is especially true for LARGE dogs, whose feral ferocity, unbridled and unregulated, is truly terrifying.

Me? I have been bitten at least once by just about every dog I ever had, one way or another, and mostly not maliciously; I just got in the way. And so I assure you, I NEVER want to be in the middle of another dog fight, again.

1 comment:

  1. Thanks for sharing this info around Woody.
    Sending our best to your dog pack.

    Donna @ BADRAP