Thursday, January 15, 2009

Apparently, I’m Nuts

We've been having some issues with the new puppy nipping at the girls.  The nipping escalated to full blown biting, but generally its to the shoes or occasionally a hand.  So I've been trying to nip this situation in the bud...apparently it's not working.

Did I mention before that Holle is a Jack Russell Terrier?  Yeah, well...she IS DEFINITELY a Jack Russell.    She decided that the two steps between our sunporch and the kitchen are her property, not to be intruded on.  If she is standing there and Olivia tries to pass she'll bark, growl and bite at her (read BITE her).   So I've tried addressing this situation at the first bark to keep it from escalating...yeah...good plan there pal.  Very territorial, even at  9 weeks of age.

So yesterday we were having a good day.  The girls and dog were frolicking merrily on the sunporch.  Olivia and Holle were sitting on a chair playing together. I was busy being June Cleaver in the kitchen and Olivia came in to ask if we could work on her sewing project.  Sure, no problem...let me finish up what  I'm doing and we'll jump right on it.  Child happily walks back to the sunporch and starts to sit back down in the chair (where the dog is still playing).  I hear the bark, then the snarl...then the I run in slow motion towards the sunporch.  There stands Olivia with both hands clasped across her face.    The dog deliberately bit the child in the face.  It wasn't an "ouch you sat on me, I must defend myself" bite (which is still wrong, but at least relatively understandable).  But instead it was a "this is my chair now and don't you even THINK you're getting back up here with me" bite.    She got her right below her right eye, on the cheek bone.   It is bruised and thankfully she didn't get her in the eye.

My though process, is that if a dog at 9 weeks of age will try to bite its owner in the face...this is a major red flag.   Apparently I'm nuts...because everyone thinks it was an "oopsie" and that the dog deserves a second chance.  Even my mother, who doesn't like the dog said "well if she didn't break the skin, she wasn't really trying to hurt her".  WHAT???  If a sniper misses his mark, was he not trying to kill someone, or was he having an off day?

Thankfully, I do have two close friends who are logical like me...and they are both thinking send the dog packing while you still can.

The spouse and I are having moments of intense fellowship over this topic. 

What I do find intriguing about this, is that Olivia (5 years old) is the one who wanted the dog.  The one who prayed for the dog.  The one the dog attacks.   Lindsey (3 years old) can tell the dog to sit, and it does.  She'll tell the dog to come, and it does.  The dog will bark and she tells it to stop, and it does.   The dog can assume its position on the stairs, Lindsey can walk right by without a glance.  So apparently, somehow Lindsey has established herself as a higher rank in our pack...and apparently Olivia is low man on the totem pole, at least in the dogs mind.   I find this oddly disturbing.

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