May 19, 2011

Mr.Popular and Ms.Not So Much

Willis has always been popular amongst the other dogs in the neighborhood as well as with their owners.  Everyone knows Willis and everyone loves Willis.  I mean what's not to love?  Outside of the rotten behaviors that he demonstrates in the house (eating paper, jumping on people when they come to our house, etc.) he really is an angel when interacting with other dogs.  We actually credit Willis for helping us meet such incredible people in the Arctic.  He is a conversation starter- everyone wants to know more about him.

Willis always had play dates with the neighborhood dogs.  We don't have a fenced yard but his friends would invite him over to play.  However, over the past 9 months or so we have noticed the play date invitations haven't been coming as frequently.  Last week we learned the reason- her name is Bella. 

Poor Bella is Alpha Dog and not nearly as social as Willis.  She is great with people and kids but sort of nasty with other dogs; especially female dogs.  And since Willis is a ladies man, all of his closest friends are female and this has caused a major issue. 

So while on a walk last week we ran in to Delhi, a beautiful Golden that lives a few doors down and her owner Barry broke the bad news to us regarding why Willis has been seeing a little less of his besties.  In hopes that we could all learn to be friends, Barry invited the pups to come play with Delhi in their backyard.  At first there was some growling, hair standing and barking but it was VERY short lived.  After about 20 seconds, Bella stopped growling and then about a minute later the hair on her back went back to normal.  It was a fantastic play date!

Fast forward a week- I ran in to Delhi again today and Bella was an angel!  Willis of course is always happy- go- lucky but Bella is a little bit of a loose cannon.  However, after seeing her today with Delhi I feel completely confident that she will be asked to a few backyard parties in the near future. 

Owning dogs is giving me so much insight as to what it must be like to have children.  What do you do when one of your kids is popular and the B.M.O.C. and the other one is a total jerk?  We are certainly learning.  Now lets just hope when we have children they are both likable and people enjoy their company.  I'm pretty sure growling and barking is unacceptable social behavior =)

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