Things have begun to look up around here now that Daisy is home once more. We decided there were things we approached erroneously the first time we brought Daisy into our home. We let the little dogs dictate the mood the first time not realizing that we, as the pack leaders, should have been in the lead. (Hindsight is 20/20!) This time when Daisy came in the door I could see her visibly shaking as she planted her feet on the rug inside the door. We had already decided that the little dogs would have to toe the line this time; they would have to learn the word “No!”. And they are learning it somewhat late in their development, but learning it they are! Mimi and Jolie are still quite vocal at times, but they are called down immediately and are responding to the command. Daisy is still trying to be the boss. She gets in the middle of everything we do, shows domination traits (putting herself higher than us, against us, over Bandit’s back, mouthing us with her teeth during play, walking between our legs, leaning into us, etc.) and a little resource guarding of her toys and food. We do not feed them together and haven’t bought any new toys for her to guard as her own. She seems to have grown up some since she’s been gone. She’s calmer, she chews up less toys and doesn’t chew up her blankets like she used to. Hopefully some of that was stress-related and her still being a puppy and having that chewing urge that puppies have while they’re teething.
Daisy is in her crate only while the littles eat and at night (as are Bandit, Gypsy, Mimi and Diego because either they potty in the house and/or to keep them out of our bed). She wears her muzzle if she is out of the crate when the littles are out. We put the littles in so Daisy has free time and gets to eat several times per day just as the littles do. It’s working well. We’ve had 2 short temper tantrums: once Mimi thought Daisy was too close to “her” daddy and she started to nip at Daisy, of course, Daisy jumped back, but we stopped it mid-tantrum and that was that. The other time Daisy and Bandit had “words” (not physical, just barking and growling) in the living room which I stopped and crated both dogs…no more issues there either.
I am careful to watch the interactions closely and am thinking that over time, Daisy will find her place in the pack and the pack will find out that Daisy is no threat as long as they are no threat to her. Eventually we’d like to not have to put a muzzle on Daisy at all, but only time will tell on that issue. I think we’re going about it in a better manner now; it is very much different from last time and the stress level is much, much lower already.
On another note, last Monday our little baby, 4-pound Zoe hurt her hip–don’t know how because I didn’t see it when it happened and saw no evidence of any issue. I let the dogs out of their crates in the morning so they could go potty, walked into my office to pick up my cup I’d left in there the night before and when I walked back into the kitchen Zoe was headed back through the doggie door holding her rear leg up high and squealing. I picked her up and comforted her but she would not be comforted; she was in pain and wanted me to fix it for her. I couldn’t tell if anything was broken or out of place, and she has tiny bird-like bones in her legs so I thought it prudent to call the vet ASAP. I put Daisy back in her crate and took Zoe in to the vet. They kept her and started pain meds IV—then I was really scared! They called me after her pain calmed down and said they were about to sedate her and do x-rays. That showed that her left hip was out of place and they planned on putting it back in place once she was fully sedated but by the time the sedation took effect the hip had slid back into place on its own. I picked her up that evening and brought her home on pain meds and NSAIDs. She has a “hobble” bandage attached to both back legs to keep her from slipping the hip back out before it heals. I’ll take her back to the vet on Monday to make sure we’re headed in the right direction with our baby. She’s not walking much on her back legs and has been quite the spoiled little pill. Either Ronnie or myself has carried and held her all week. If we can’t hold her we put her in Diego’s crate so she is safe and can survey her world properly.
Dusty had his nervous stomach flare up again last night so he’s back on his liquid stomach meds again. He was bloated up like a balloon last night but it’s gone down a lot by today. They told me his stomach issues could be stress-related so I’m assuming it’s flared because of the situation with bringing Daisy back into the pack. He screams in pain when it flares up and is hard for us to handle him. It breaks our hearts! But the liquid medication has an almost immediate effect on his symptoms and in a few days he goes back to his normal Dusty self so I’m expecting that to happen this time, too.