Interesting Observation & Unrelated Ramblings
Those of you who have more than one dog know what I mean when I say seeing their different personalities comes at some very interesting moments.
Today, I've given Willow and Cedar rawhide "bones". They dont get them often. When we first gave them, Cedar was extremely posessive. She didnt chew it; she just held it and growled whenever anyone came near. So obviously we have been working on her behavior. They only get them now when I'm supervising closely and no one else is around. Cedar was so possessive I think she might have bitten someone who wasnt aware of the danger. (She has never been food possessive before; this behavior is only displayed with these hawhide bones.)
Anyway, she's doing much better, but to help the girls learn that these are chew toys, I had to stuff the cracks with Pupperoni, one of their favorite junk foods.
Both girls could smell the pupperoni, of course ,and their interest in their chews were heightened. Cedar just started chewing away like most dogs. Willow, though, was singularly interested in the bits of pupperoni. She flipped and flopped the bone, licked the cracks, and did everything she could to just get the pupperoni. Chewing the bone itself wasn't a strategy. She even came over to Cedar to see if she would help (this is a strategy that Willow does a lot; its like a little kid going to an older sibling for help with stuff!). Of course, Cedar was busy with her own bone, so Willow has gone back to her rawhide and is licking away like nuts trying to get the pupperoni. Who knows, perhaps she'll figure it out yet.
As an aside, this possessive behavior reminds me of an episode of Animal Cops I saw last night. The ACOs had rescued a shepherd mix, and it was a lovely dog. The behaviorist at the shelter bonded with it very closely, and it was clear that the dog had bonded with her, too. It even rolled over on its back while she, another employee, rubbed its belly, while the camera crew were standing nearby in a small room. However, during the behavior test, the dog showed food agression. Because of this one problem, they put the dog down. The behaviorist was so distraught she had to leave the room in tears. When she returned, she and the other employee explained that this behavior made it unadoptable and too dangerous to take into someone's home, even the behaviorist's.
I was gobsmacked that ONE behaviorial issue meant that they wouldnt even try to find a home for it. It is a serious problem for sure, but it isnt unsurmountable with the right owner. I know these shelters have limited resources and there arent many knowledgeable owners who could deal with the issue probably willing to take in a new mix rescue. Nevertheless, it is exceptionally upsetting that the dog, with so many positive attributes, was killed simply because no one wanted/would take the time, to work with this problem.
I'm rambling... can you tell I'm on vacation now?? :P
Cedar (tri), Willow (blen), & Holly (ruby)