Monday, November 9, 2009

The Dominance Dance: Three dogs and a couch

Put a Boxer, a Giant Schnauzer and an Australian Shepherd in a room together with a couch. Then you, the leader of the pack, try to cover it with a slipcover. Let the dance begin…

Boxer comes over and noses the cover as I am trying to arrange it. One paw comes up on the couch. “No!” I command in my pack leader voice, praising him when he removes the offending paw.

Schnauzer comes over and stands between Boxer and me, guarding “his” couch. I continue my work, while Schnauzer tries to put himself between the couch and me.
Aussie watches from afar, never missing a move, eyes shifting, plotting, planning. She clearly thinks she is smarter than these other two clowns, and is not going to engage in any wasted movement.

I move to the side of the couch in order to arrange the back and sides of the cover. Schnauzer makes his move to get up. “No!” I reprimand him, and he slowly, very… very… slowly, backs off.

Aussie takes notes.

Boxer thinks if Schnauzer isn’t allowed, then I’m certainly saving a spot for Boxer. He makes a leap at the opposite end of the sofa from Schnauzer, only to be thwarted as I yank the slipcover out from under him. He retreats.

The slipcover is finally in position, and I smooth out the wrinkles and straighten the skirt, scowling as a good pack leader should. You’d think I am protecting my kill from the wolves. Aussie plots her strategy.

I walk away. Boxer looks at the couch and loses interest. He follows me out to the patio and settles on the dog bed. Schnauzer follows to be sure Boxer isn’t taking a bed reserved for him.

Aussie moves in, climbs on the couch and settles in for a nap.

© 2009 Terry Albert. All rights reserved.

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