Nothing good can last. Rollo pooped in his cage today. 😦 But the dog’s walks went well. I’ve been walking them separately to protect my lower back.
Everyone knows the infamous Topac Shakur, right? Since Rollo had poop on his hock, I called him Poop Hock Manure – that is, until I hosed him down both to cool and clean him.
Then, after laundering his poop blankets, I took them both to the pond so Rollo could witness how fun swimming can be. When it was his turn, he declined but waded. I splashed him and he eagerly bit the flying water.
Once you towel off wet dogs, they often run around the house excited. I let them “play” off leash. While play was part of it, they were figuring out hierarchy and rapport. Rollo was the aggressor. I discovered later that Mak suffered a tiny nick near his left eye. I’m sure it was an accidental tooth because I hovered as they “played” and none of it was real aggression. In any case, I’m not sure if that’s what fired Mak up but he was running back and forth with Rollo after him. Rollo showed remarkable increase in athleticism already since his rapidly receding fat slob days.
Mak decided enough was enough and torpedoed into Rollo. He wasn’t being aggressive but overwhelmed Rollo with pit bull drive. The exchange culminated for a moment with Rollo lying on the day bed. Mak put a paw on his back, a sign of pure dominance, and the universe stopped for a moment. Rollo accepted.
Then some more horsing around, with Rollo finally turning his bum. It was clear as day and, had this been for a cash stake, whomever had bet on Mak (me)would be holding the wad of bills.
For the entire process, I stood in the middle of the melee. I’d just come back from swimming and dropped my swim trunks on the kitchen floor so they wouldn’t soak the carpet. I was stark naked but for a pair of sunglasses, a coiled heavy line with bull snaps in one hand and the fight disruptor in the other. I looked like a cross between a demented Hunter S. Thompson and a lion tamer. Picture perfect mental patient.
The rest of the evening went very well. Rollo enjoyed his first off-chain night until now when he preferred to nose around the kitchen rather than lay in the study as I type. He was also very good about dropping anything when I say the N O word… except the eaten corn cob which I had to take away then convince him into dropping the half he’d bitten off. I’m good at convincing.
I think we’ll try sleeping loose tonight and see how it goes. It’s amazing how much less tension is present when they are loose. Privilege is earned so any naughtiness and Rollo’s right back on the chain.
The two dogs are, for the most part, becoming quite comfortable though it will still take weeks before Mak will feel okay dropping his guard. I was checking a spot on Rollo’s chest and he laid on his back under Mak who was above him on the sofa. They touched noses.
I think a big part of winning Rollo’s obedience and loyalty has been fair and loving treatment. I could see his guilty look when he pooped, etc., but never felt anger and I made sure to reassure him that it was okay.
Another pivotal choice was showing total trust even when it made me vulnerable to a sudden attack. As I learned riding difficult horses, you can do a lot with bravado and a show of confidence… even when in reality I was concerned enough to sleep with a machete next to the bed.
Finally, tonight it was very sweet for Mak and I to be able to sit together on the sofa, his muzzle draped over my thigh, with me caressing his ears and his tail slowly wagging without riling up Rollo. I know it has been a stressful time for Mak so it was great to see his eyes closed in contentment and his tail wag.