October 6, 2007

I have recently decided to get a new dog, as a companion for my other dog.  Dogs are, typically, social animals.  They have needs for companionship, loyalties, energy to expend, and trouble to stay out of.  When I started school this semester, it occurred to me just how much time my dog has to spend alone.  Typically, I leave my house by 7:50, come home for lunch, around 45 minutes, and then get back to my house around 7:15.  After eating, working on schoolwork, and cleaning up for the day, I typically have an hour, maybe two, to spend playing with and attending to my dog.  She is very loyal, and usually sits next to me, or in my lap while I work on my schoolwork, but that time doesn’t really seem to fit into “spending time” with my dog, as she is just sitting there, waiting for me to notice.  I feel guilty about leaving her to her own devices for such long hours during the week.  Sure, she could be on the streets, fending for herself.  In light of most animals, she has it good.  She is fed.  She has a place to sleep.  She has no worries.  However, what kind of life (even if it is a dog’s life) is that to lead?  To sit and sleep, to be alone for most of the time?  So, I decided to get her a companion.  I started checking rescue shelters, and found a dog that sounded pretty suitable for my living arrangements.  A small terrier, house trained, used to other dogs, friendly around people with a “cute” personality.  I am not sure, just yet, what a cute personality is in a dog, but I guess I will find out.  It is funny how people put such human attributes toward their pets, or toward animals to begin with.  I guess I have done the same, as well, since I am adopting a new “sister” for my own dog.  I went to the shelter to pick her up today, and realized that I could be getting into a little more than I bargained for.  Immediately, she tried to start playing with my dog, but – being as how this dog was encroaching upon her territory – my dog was not quite as pleased to see her.  Typically, dogs have understandings about each other’s boundaries.  Usually, when a new dog moves in on another dog’s territory, it assumes a submissive attitude, in order to be accepted.  Well, the new dog obviously missed the chapter on social ediquette of a dog, because she never once backed down from my dog’s threatening glares.  There was no fighting or skirmishes, just threats that were ignored, from my dog to the new pup.  Stiff-legged stances of uncertainty – ironically similar to the uneasy stances and poses that people exhibit in unfamiliar or threatening territory.  It became quite humorous to actually watch them interact. 

            We have 2 days for them to settle, and then I have to leave them to their own devices.  I hope they can manage to get along! 

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