Friday, July 3, 2009

Alienation of Scottish Affection?

I have always thought that Bailey was not your typical dog. (Duh!) She has never been cuddly. She has always been one of those dogs who will let you hold her for a VERY short period of time, unless it is her idea. With me, and with most of my family, she employs what we call a "butt weld" which is basically sitting with her butt near yours, usually with her front legs elevated onto the arm of whatever chair you are sitting in. She never liked to be held. She never sat on my lap for very long. But, she is very attached to me. And when I leave, she gets very upset. If I walk a course in agility, she watches intently as I weave in and out of others. When I am gone, many people have told me she attempts to pick me out of a crowd. So, she is attached to me, she just doesn't do a lot of cuddling. I have reconciled myself to this over the 8 years we have spent together.

So, when I got Moxie, I was so excited to have a dog I could hold and cuddle. Much to my dismay, she seems quite similar to Bailey in that she will allow me to hold her for very short periods of time, unless she initiated the contact! I have been told this is a symptom of the alpha relationship I have with my dogs. That they show me deference and respect my space. Small comfort when I just want to cuddle a puppy.
Well, recently I have begun noticing VERY different behavior from both of my dogs. Bailey will happily sit on Glenn's lap for an ENTIRE movie. He can hold her upside down on his lap and she will GO TO SLEEP. And Moxie, as any little sister does, follows in Bailey's paw prints. She too will allow Glenn to hold her for rather long periods. Both of them will seek him out when we sit on the couch. He has two dogs draped on him, and I am sitting on the other side watching in awe and frankly, partial jealousy. I mean, what goes on here? Both dogs seem to think he is their own personal easy chair.
Evidence Exhibit A: Bailey and Glenn

Exhibit B: Moxie, not to be outdone, is laying with them. She lays her paws over his arm and watched the movie quite intently for a while. Note the underside of Bailey's chin on the left.

I am just not sure how I feel about this. I am glad they like him. It is a much better situation than the one I find myself in with his cat. She would gladly (and has on occasion) cut me to ribbons for merely walking past her. She has growled at me when I sit with Glenn or lean in to kiss him. (What a prude!) And she doesn't attempt to conceal her contempt for me in the slightest. However, I have a feeling that when Glenn and I are married, I may spend a lot of time puzzling over the "Glenn oreo cookie" created by Glenn bookended by two sprawled out scotties. Is this the beginning of me being the "mean parent"? I am the enforcer? I am the alpha pack leader, and Glenn is simply the pack mate, who can be part of the "dogpile"? I don't know.
For now, I am happy that they seem to look forward to his visits and enjoy hanging out with him. And I feel a small spark of vindication when I walk out the door and Bailey runs after me. I hide a smirk when he tells me the whole time I was gone, Bailey sat by the door and waited for me to return. I enjoy the butt welding and try not to worry about the gratuitous chest sleeping they do with Glenn. But I have to wonder if 24/7 Glenn exposure will strengthen or lessen the bond they seem to have with him. Only time will tell.

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