Saturday, November 8, 2008

A Serious Question

Ok, so maybe not so "serious"- not as in life or death. But I genuinely would like to know, "Are all dogs bi-polar"?
Or maybe not ALL, but 75-80%, perhaps?

I have lived with dogs most of my life, from the first black lab mix that my parents rescued when I was 5, till now (more than three decades later.)
I would say it was 8 dogs at last count, and all but 2 would give Dr. Jekyll a run for his money. And we are talking ALL different breeds. A golden retriever-chow mix (self explanatory about the Jekyll/Hyde -in my mind) A German shepherd mix (while an amazingly loyal dog, she definitely had a few screws loose), a husky mix (not really a Mr. Hyde there, just a really strong call of the wild), and

BOTH my current fur-children fall into this category.

Hero- the greyhound gets a pass for the time being, because we have only had him for 3 months and I have heard that it can take up to a year for retired greyhounds to adjust to their new lives (and show their true temperaments). I guess everything (including us) still seem pretty alien to him.

Pepsi, our beagle /Jack Russell mix, in theory should get a pass too, because we adopted her at 8 weeks old- and by thirteen weeks, a neighbor's Shepherd mix got loose and attacked her - tearing enough of her stomach to require surgery- then (get this) the day before the stitches were due to come out, the SAME dog got loose and attacked her again (at this point that dog obviously had her pegged as prey). That was 6 years ago, those neighbors have long since moved away, But years of training- socializing- quasi pet therapy with assorted vets/ specialists, have never been able to in any way lessen her aggression/ fear of other dogs.

Only dear Hero, who is so good at ignoring her out bursts, as if to say "you are a sad, strange, little dog and you have my pity" can be within 50 feet of her.

This same dog who will happily put up with our two year old climbing on top of her, in her crate, without the least bit of a complaint, is the pariah of our neighborhood. Anyone who she does not know, gets an incredibly vicious barking and snarling at- the mailman, the neighbors, workmen. whether it be out on a walk or at the front door. Trust me even Victoria Stillwell and Cesar Millan would find this dog incurable- and yet she is the SWEETEST, most loyal dog, most loving and patient dog, I have ever owned- bar none. And it KILLS me that no one outside of our family will ever see it.


BrittBeah said...

Alex, I thankfully have never experienced a bi-polar pup in my home. Your beagle sounds like she has great reason to fear other dogs. I would too. Most beagles I've met have been wonderful family pets but very very vocal.
Dan has taken a year to show his full personality, it has been a greyt year. Hope you enjoy getting to Hero like I have Dan.

Stephen said...

Ha! I'm right there with you about bipolar. I've got a perfect specimen under my roof, freak-flag ears and all!