Dog fights

Akitas were originally bread in the cold mountains of Japan to fight bears. Our pets are a far cry from those tough ancestors of theirs. Instead of roughing it outdoors, they spend most of their waking ours inside a warm home getting many hugs and kisses, regular meals and tidbits. Looking at them, with their thick fur and curly tails, they look more like big teddy bears than anything threatening.

I was thinking something to this effect while I kissed River, who had already finished (aka inhale) his breakfast this morning, when I felt a soft wet nose touch my ear.

Ocean needed kisses.

I turned to pet her and reassure her that I love her just as much when River seized the opportunity and started eating Ocean’s abandoned food.

Ocean spotted the thief right away and the mother of all dog wars began.

Did I call these two fluffy teddy bears? Fighting, they were more like possessed demonic hounds from Dante’s Inferno than any natural creature. The sounds they made alone made me start screaming. Gone were the shy, gentle giants I knew. These wolf-like fiends moved with a speed that shocked me and had no compassion as they tore at each other.

We have had rottweilers and we have had bullmastiffs in our home, but none of them have ever fought with the insane, wild, fury of these two. If I hadn’t seen it with my own eyes, I would have never believed it possible.

(An aside note: if your dog is ever involved in a dog fight, a good idea to stop the fight is to turn a water hose on them. The water shocks them into stopping and you don’t get hurt in the process.)

Needless to say, our kitchen doesn’t have a water hose. So, I stared in horror while my beloved pets re-enacted the doggie version of the Exorcist.

Thankfully, the fight ended mere seconds after it started. The dogs shook their fur and walked around as if nothing had happened. I, shaking and crying, tried to remember my First Aid and rushed over to check them for injury while they gave me bored looks. They were gleefully playing in the snow moments later.

Maybe there’s something left from those ancestors after all.



Dog biases

We try to keep our dogs entertained. We’ve bought them everything from so-called indestructible Kong products, to rings, to ropes, to assorted soccer and basketballs, to a baby pool. So, of course, they get bored and, when they get bored they do what kids do: destroy things or each other.

Yesterday we were enjoying a post-meal relaxing cup of tea when we heard a doggie cry that didn’t stop. Being our easy-going, relaxed selves, we jumped from the couch, sending the tea flying and ran out to see what had happened to our ‘babies’.

Ocean was on the ground holding up a back paw and crying. River was hovering nearby looking incredibly guilty.

Now dog-books will tell you not to soothe a dog that’s crying because, apparently that’s sending the dog the psychological message that they should cry all the time. It’s called positively reinforcing the behaviour. But, I have to admit, I ignored all such advice and threw myself next to Ocean and petted her while I tried to see if she was okay.

My therapist-husband is incredibly calm in these situations. I, on the other hand, am an emotional mess. While he moved Ocean’s injured limb to test for injury, I ran back to the house to get the phone and call the emergency vet, told River that we still loved him and knew he ‘didn’t mean it’, and cried enough that I couldn’t see the numbers on the phone.

Ocean was fine. Two minutes later she was walking on the leg and not half an hour later she was picking a new fight with River. We were pretty shook up (well, I was). I hate seeing animals in pain. I just can’t bear it.

I’m finding I may be a bit biased. I can tolerate someone getting hurt or even get killed in a book or movie but I can’t watch if a doggie so much as gets an eyelash in their eye. Thankfully, most animal heroes make it out okay of most movies or books–otherwise, I don’t know what I would do.

Our dogs seemed to realize they had pushed us far enough for a day and they were as good as gold for the rest of the day. They’re asleep on the floor next to me right now, looking as innocent as angels. So cute…until the next time they get bored.

Little demons.


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