Wednesday, August 29, 2012

A Lesson in Tolerance

This is Quincy.  Here's what you need to know about him:  12ish years young tripod Chessie.  Yes, he's adorable - in that stinky breath'd old geezer sort of way.  He's pretty much a breeze to dog sit except for a teensy issue:  he doesn't share well.  And we're dog sitting him for 3 weeks.

M-O-M, why doesn't he want to play with me?
Unfortunately for Hurley, Quincy mostly hates sharing Mom's attention with him.  See, Q spent the first week at our house doing everything in his power to not allow my dogs to receive any of my attention.  Laying in doorways to prevent them from entering?  Check.  Body blocking them from getting closer?  Check.  Bared teeth?  Check.  Snapping?  Check.  Having to spend lots of time separated from us due to his behavior?  Check.

Fortunately for Quincy, my three are being exceedingly respectful.  Maggie's told him what's what a few times but has been more tolerant than I would have ever expected.  For her to ignore a dog who is snarling in her general direction is huge progress!  Sadie plays the peacemaker, continuously trying to make friends with Q.  She can't comprehend why he doesn't want one of her famous tongue baths.  Hurley ignores him, whining and pouting about his sad lot in life.  Q enforces a strict no-fun policy in his presence - no wrestling, no chasing, no fetch, no toys, no fun. 

Quincy's starting to chill out halfway through his stay with us.  He's much better with the girls but still struggles to allow Hurley close to me.  Hurley gives Q the widest possible berth.  He won't look at him, won't play with the girls when Q's around, squeezes himself as close to the wall and as far away from Q as possible, has given up his regular spot at my feet and, due to all of the above, has been perfecting his pouty face.

Why doesn't he like me, M-O-M??

Poor Hurley, right?  Actually, I'm glad he's having this experience.  The girls let him get away with murder.  Seriously, he continues to murder my tomato plants!  Why don't they stop him?? sidetracked.

Hurley's learning a lot of things by being around Q.   Tolerance.  Patience.  Respecting one's elders.  Letting bossy dogs be bossy without getting all upset about it.  All good life lessons. 

Even if he won't stop giving me this look.


  1. Oh, my, what a look. How will you ever recover?

  2. This is actually a great chance to get a master's course on dog body language. You should be getting some of this on tape. :)

    It sounds like a challenge to manage but I'm glad you're finding the benefits to Hurley. If only he wasn't looking so pitiful.

  3. So lovely to watch a dog exhibit sensitivity and tolerance toward another dog's less than ideal behavior. Sounds like Quincy is settling in, and Hurley is learning. I always worry that exposure to my grumpy dogs will scar my little fosters for life, but you're probably right that it's just a valuable life lesson :)

  4. A strict no-fun policy? Whoa, Q, way to be a whompers house guest!

    But you are are right, it's a good lesson to learn that not every dog wants to play with you and that sometimes, you just have to respect your elders and chilllllllll.

  5. Awww, poor Hurley. He looks so sad! But this is great practice for him, for sure. Sometimes the only way for dogs to learn how to be polite with other dogs is to be around them. It's hard for us humans to socialize our pets because we don't know all the intricate ways dogs have of communicating with each other. Hopefully these lessons, while harsh, will only help him later.

  6. And people say we give dogs too much credit on the range of emotions we think they experience! Your crew's different reactions to their house guest totally says to me that dogs DO experience a wide range of emotions. So cute! Good for your dogs for doing so well with a dog who isn't Mr. Congeniality.

  7. What happened to Hurley Badger? LOL Actually I was thinking this really might be a good learning experience for Hurley.

    And you, you are Saint like, I would not be able to tolerate a dog coming into our house and pushing my dogs around.

  8. Interesting dynamics. It's always hard to bring another dog into the never know what the reaction will be. It's nice Quincy is settling in a bit. Is he territorial in his own home?