Lest you think that we never have problems here – trust me, everything I write is preaching to myself too.
The equation for disaster today was Ginny being incredibly full of herself and the older Cardigans – two of whom are on the cusp of being in season, so in no mood to take that kind of crap – deciding she needed to be taken down, PLUS a young and inexperienced puppy who doesn’t know how to shut herself off yet.
The result? Two dogs jump Ginny, Honour picks her up (which she KNOWS is the wrong move; she just panicked), Juno jumps up to continue to harass Ginny and gets a big mouthful of Honour’s arm instead. Then Friday attacked Juno to punish her for that, Ginny and Juno both started screaming, Honour got scared and started crying, and the whole thing degenerated into a big swirl of bad dogs being bad.
Thankfully, once tears were dried and dogs were washed up, there’s no damage done except a bruise on Honour’s arm from Juno. But it was big and scary and everybody’s (dogs included) feeling rather shaky and sad. I’ve got them all sitting outside together now, re-bonding; it’s been my experience that dogs MUST re-connect after that kind of thing or grudges begin to be kept.
The mistake I made? Not being there when Ginny went out with them. She’s been away from the pack for a couple of days, and when that happens she gets very pushy with them. She and Clue have always had a low-level competition going on and two days is much too long to separate them. I didn’t even think about it when I sent the kids out to play, and that’s my fault and my responsibility. Now that this will be a common thing – when Ginny is working with Honour, she often doesn’t spend much time with the other dogs for several days – I need to more carefully police the re-integration.
I’ll do a better job next time, I hope. And believe me when I say that I make more fool moves than most people. Thankfully the dogs tend to forgive me, and each other, pretty easily.