Saturday, October 29, 2011

Dexter is Delicious

We've been in Winnipeg for four weeks this Tuesday and I just wrapped up my fourth week at my not-so-new job at a web development company. Blake started nursery and goes four times a week for a couple of hours and loves it. Miron is holding down the fort and juggles the many headaches involved with moving into a new house and making it liveable. The dogs are getting used to the new neighbourhood and home.

On the one hand it’s a huge collection of changes that affected every aspect of our lives, but on the other hand we had enough time to set into our new routines which made it feel as if we’ve been doing it forever. Hence the lack of writing in my blog as I find it hard to naturally come up with ideas for blog posts when every day is the same. Mind you, this type of "boredom" is exactly what I was yearning for over the last year.

Well, my blog readers can thank my utterly nutty dogs for spicing things up and get me writing again. Go dogs!

Dexter, a couple of days before being eaten.
Dexter is still aggressive to other dogs and I suspect that’s not going to go away any time soon, maybe fade away a little when he gets a bit older. But he’s a weakling and I can handle him if I walk him alone – which is what I do nowadays. Gone are the days when I would be dragged down the street by two dogs right into traffic. The real problem now, something I never imagined would be the case, is the escalating canine rivalry at home.

The serious fighting started right after Dexter was neutered. Dexter didn't lose his aggression towards other dogs, it just made his flesh taste better. I can’t otherwise explain why Leo is so into puncturing holes into Dexter and tearing his flesh. Dexter has lost his edge and barely scratches Leo while being minced himself. You'd think Dexter would figure out he's no match for Leo, but nope. He's a wonderful combination of bravery and suicidal stupidity.

Since we moved to Winnipeg there was one fight on the first night in the new home after a four days car trip right after a inter-continental flight preceded with a week’s stay at a kennel. Then on that first night I fed them both outside since we still didn’t have bowl stands for food in the kitchen and when one of the bowls fell to the floor they just went at each other. It was almost expected considering the huge trauma they’ve just been through, but it doesn’t change the fact that Dexter gained a whole bunch of new deep scars that will decorate him for the rest of his life. Ha! We thoughts the scars from that fight were bad. Little did we know they'd look like paper cuts compared to the next fight.

The fight two days ago came out of nowhere. At least it seemed so at first when the dogs just went at each other for no apparent reason when all 14 legs were hanging out in the basement rec room late in the evening. Miron and I separated the dogs and Dexter immediately lay down in shock. I had to put a paper towel against his shoulder to stop the bleeding. He had several deep cuts, some obviously needing stitches. It was never this bad before. Ever. Blake was completely unbothered by the commotion and carried on watching his cartoons.

Then I realized why they fought. They were just getting used to the fact that I went back to work and came home every day around five. That day I came home late from a little event in town after work. As I got home I went to clear up some mess in the rec room as the carpets were to be steamed the next day. Dexter jumped around trying to burn some energy so I played with him a little and continued to work. Leo got jealous and tried getting my attention so I'd play with him too, which he does by grabbing a toy. Dexter apparently didn't want to share the toy Leo wanted. Then the fight broke.

We took Dexter to get his stitches the next day after I returned from work, visiting our local vet for the first time. "Hello, nice to meet you! We have two big dogs and they like to eat each other." It cost quite a bundle and we still have a few more visits over the next two weeks so it's not over yet.

Obviously it can't happen again and it'll be difficult (and heartbreaking) to rehome either dog for different reasons (especially after all the hassle of bringing them over from the UK). So the next stage is to seek a local dog behaviourist and probably get a soft muzzle for Leo to wear at home at all times except feeding - if he can't open his mouth wide he won't cause such horrific injuries.

Ooga Booga
On the bright side Dexter is now set up for Halloween with his Frakendoggie costume complete with shaved skin, plastic drips, stitches and dried blood. Oooooh, scary!

Maybe I should rename Dexter "Stitch". Then my dogs will be called "Leo & Stitch". Awesome! I can still turn this around into something positive.

Dexter has been avoiding Leo a little, who can blame him, and spent a lot of time resting due to the injuries and the drugs, but he's in fairly good spirits. Leo has been very sheepish and looked very guilty when he realized Dexter is injured and bleeding that it was all his fault. Silly puppies.

Jokes aside this has been quite upsetting, but I hope this is the worst dog fight we would ever experience in our home. One can only hope...

If you ever plan getting two male Great Danes, based on my personal experience there is one great piece of advice I can give you.




Mark said...

Geez! It's hard to believe that these two, who know each other so well, would fight like this. I'm surprised that you would even think about re-homing one of them. I mean, I would, but I never in a billion years think that you would. Dexter, I feel so bad for him. I kind of hope that he bites back and puts Leo in his place. But that's not really going to happen, is it?
I hope this issue is resolved easily.

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