Actually – no longer a two dog night. Thankfully!
Last Sunday, I picked up Ginger the Wonder Dog at my friend’s house and brought her home with me to spend the week. Ginger really has earned her moniker: she’s one of the sweetest and most well-behaved dogs ever.
Until she gets around Belle, as it turns out.
A little history: I’ve been dog-sitting Ginger for a good part of her life. Coming from a house full of rambunctious boys, it always seemed like she enjoyed relaxing once she got to the peace and quiet of my house. Let me put it this way: where I lived previously, I was not even a quarter mile from Ginger. Once when she escaped her yard, know where they found her? My front porch.
So, yea – me and Ginger, we have a history.
The first time that Ginger and Belle got together, it was the funniest thing — Ginger immediately sprinted up to me and tried to “protect” me from the evil strange dog (Belle). And then Belle absolutely didn’t like how protective Ginger was being of HER human and fought back. And that laid the groundwork for all of their future
So, I bring Ginger home with me. She sprints through the garage and absolutely bursts into the house and immediately Belle starts protecting her territory. It’s funny, because the teeth were bared and they both were using their Big Girl Barks, but they barely even touched each other. As the confrontation evolved, you could see that Belle was definitely the instigator — she would dart in, and with her nose, poke Ginger in the side or flank or butt. Ginger would then whirl around, bark and growl, but Belle — like a light-footed prize fighter — had already moved to another position.
Poke poke poke. GROWL! Poke poke. BARK BARK BARK. Poke poke poke poke poke poke!! SNARL GROWL BARK BARK GROWL SNARL!!
And this became their routine, though by two days into it, they had figured out who was in charge and it became more playful, less serious, though as drama-filled as it was from the beginning.
The fun stuff really began at bedtime, though. The first night as I retired to my room, Belle followed as always, jumping up on the bed to snuggle in (don’t be a hater! Yes, I let the dog sleep on my bed… it’s not like there’s anyone else to snuggle with at the moment…). And then? Ginger followed. And the fighting continued. Except 3 feet in the air on top of my bed. Nice.
They settled momentarily — catching their breath — and before they had a chance to start Round 2, I decided that perhaps *I* should be the alpha dog: so I pulled Ginger off the bed and tried to get her to lay down on the dog bed on the floor. She wasn’t having anything to do with my plans (surprise!) and stalked out of the bedroom.
Since she’s not much of a Chew My Stuff risk, I just let her be, figuring she’d settle down on her own. And once the rest of the house was quiet, so was she.
Here’s a funny: I get up the next morning and as soon as I open up my bedroom door (had to close it to keep Belle from poke poke poking at her during the night) I hear Ginger move. She had made herself comfortable on the couch (not allowed! yes on the bed, no on the couch! I’m not a complete pushover!) but was smart enough to slink to the floor when she heard me coming. Tricky, tricky, Ginger the Wonder Dog.
Anyway, the next few days went by in a blur of dog-walking and dog-feeding and dog-petting and dog-picking-up-after. I’ve been giving thought to going to the animal shelter and picking up another sweet pitty to be friends with Belle. And now? Lesson learned. Two dogs aren’t twice the work — they are at least FOUR times the work. Worth it? Perhaps. But not now.
By the end, though, they were so cute together. They’d play and then lay down next to each other to catch their breath. And at night? Belle would curl up on the bed, Ginger on the dog bed and both would just sleep. Just like parents who look in on their sleeping children, seeing the two of them like that made me want to tell my friend that Ginger had run away and that I didn’t have her anymore and then keep Ginger all for myself. Yes, I have a bit of the evil in me. Hee.
I was sad when Ginger went home and I returned to my One Dog Nights… the house seemed terribly quiet. Though while I was a little melancholy, Belle walked right in and stood just looking at me, like, “Okay. We FINALLY got that wacko dog out of here and things can go back to normal. Now, PET ME!!”.