We met the perfect dog on Sunday. Perfect. He is nine years old. Nine! A most wonderful age — I love me a senior! He was sweet, so sweet. The moment I met him he walked over to my feet and laid down on me. I was sold. His head, so big, His paws, giant. His eyes…I fell in love. This dog had lived a life in a crate — all day, all night. He was meant to come live here.
We met him at his foster house (he’d only been there a few days so he was not territorial at all) and he and Jake did great. So great that I came home and got all of Melvin’s stuff back out – his bowls, his beds, his collars. This dog was it.
We brought him over to our house that afternoon and he and Jake continued to do well on a walk in our neighborhood. I obviously use the term ‘walk’ lightly, Jake got carried to each patch of grass.
Then we moved into our back yard. Here is where the story starts to change. Jake did… just okay in the backyard. The foster was amazing, he just sniffed and gave Jake space. Jake on the other hand started showing signs of ‘why is he in my yard?’. Even though, Jake, it’s really MY yard. We separated them for a little while. Sometimes Jake gets tired and grumpy and his lack of mobility frustrates him so breaks are needed. No prob.
Eventually, we brought both dogs inside, same door, Jake first then the new dog and that is the exactly moment that Jake went from Jake to Rocky with a side of Ozzy Osbourne. Jake flipped out. Jake continued to escalated in his fury. He wasn’t unhappy here and there, he was fully enraged this dog was in the house and re refused to calm down. The only time he was remotely calm was when he passed out from hyperventilating. He didn’t really, but almost. The other dog, calm as could be. Only wanting to be near me.
We separated the boys and I got Jake cooled off and calmer. He calmed down mostly because he thought the other dog had left.
At one point when we were trying them AGAIN out back, Jake believed he could fly and apparently he could and he lunged through the air and bit the poor guy’s ankle. He easily traveled five feet in a single lunge. As the dog was yelping and thinking ‘what the f?’, Jake lunged at his face. Jake had graduated to Hannibal Lector. (Just to assure everyone, both dogs were on leash and Jake’s bites, albeit unexpected are not bites that can break skin, he’s teeth are worn down. But it did scare the dog. And me.). The odd thing is, the ONLY one who would get hurt, hurt real bad in scuffle, was Jake. Yet he was ready to rumble.
Had Jake been unhappy with just certain things… the dog near his bowl, the dog on the couch, the dog walking by him too closely. That would have been fine. Those things can all iron out over time. But Jake continued to escalate with every breath he heard the other dog take. He did not ever, stop hunting him. This is not the first time this has happened. We had another ‘possible dog’ here for four days; Jake had to wear a cool collar and cooling vest the entire time (even though they were separated) because he remained in such a state of fury that he couldn’t cool off on his own.
We agreed the dog should go back to the Foster’s house. Jake flipped out until the very moment the dog walked out our front door and then he laid down as if nothing had happened. Sort of like a serial killer. Calm and content.
Unconditional love does not always require words. I didn’t speak to Jake the rest of that night. And he refused to come into the same room as me.
Since Melvin died, Jake is a bit unpredictable. The good part is that he is doing much better with dogs outside of our home. The bad part is he is doing much worse with dogs inside of our home. He is becoming territorially aggressive. It’s not me, he doesn’t guard me. The house and yard though, apparently he has staked a claim. Like a pioneer.
I refuse to give up — although it is not without worry. This dog was perfect for both of us, even if Jake didn’t see it. He had a Melvin approach to Jake and that approach is key. And I respect that Jake gets a vote, but I also think that Jake needs to realize that the new dog is going to HAVE TO LIVE INSIDE OUR HOUSE.
We shall overcome!