Sunday, November 15, 2009

Lagniappe's first houseguest

Several years ago, back when Lagniappe was still a fairly new addition to our pack of two, I was asked by a neighbor in my apartment building that we lived in at the time if I would watch her dog--a German Shepherd puppy named Tyler, for a week-end.Now Lagniappe and little Tyler had become pretty good pals since this gal had brought Tyler home a few weeks ago, and because I wanted Lagniappe to have a playmate, and because I was trying to score serious points with this gal who, as far as I could tell, had only one flaw--a long-distance boyfriend that she talked about way too much--I agreed to take the little fellow into my apartment for a few days. I even naively figured that if Lagniappe had a buddy to play with, he'd leave me alone for a few days.

So the week-end came, and my neighbor brought little Tyler over. Now keep in mind that Lagniappe and Tyler played very well in the hallway every day, and at the dog park. I knew that they got along fine. What I hadn't realized was that all of this play had taken place in neutral territories, and how much the dynamic would change once the puppy set foot into Lagniappe's domain.Oh. My. God.

The first few minutes were fine. They sparred a bit, and Tyler sniffed around. But then the fussing began. Tyler would touch one of Lagniappe's toys and Lagniappe would go into a barking frenzy. The pup would touch Lagniappe's dishes, and more barking...the K9 equivalent of a spoiled two-year old screaming "MINE! MINE!" over and over again. It got worse instead of better when Tyler started grabbing Lagniappe's toys up and running around with them and the ensuing chases virtually destroyed my apartment. Even toys that Lagniappe never played with were off-limits to Tyler. And of course Tyler, being a mischievous little puppy, had to try to take anything that he knew that Lagniappe liked.And if that wasn't bad enough, Lagniappe was barred from climbing on the furniture. He knew it and had no problems with it. Tyler, however, was not under similar restraint at his place, so he would jump up onto my couch, and Lagniappe would go nuts, not only barking at him, but running into the other rooms to find me and barking at me until I followed him back to discipline the offending trespasser.

The problems went away as soon as I took them out into the hallway to play, and when we went to the dog park, all was well and they were fast friends again. But as soon as we went back into the apartment, Lagniappe came unhinged at the slightest violation of whatever protocols that he'd established, or any attempts by Tyler to cozy up to me. He was still a pretty insecure dog back then and the whole week-end was one agonizingly long string of dog fights, characterized with much barking, yelping, chasing, growling, tattling and other displays of dog schizophrenia and taunting. They finally settled down and started getting along without difficulty sometime on Sunday, just a few hours before his owner returned. I was never happier to see that week-end come to a close when my neighbor returned and retook possession of little Tyler.

Of course after he was gone, Lagniappe spent the next few hours whining and looking around for his buddy.Dogs...

PS: He's much better now.


  1. You hit the nail on the head.. Normally well-mannered dogs will behave like two-year-olds when another dog dares invade their territory..
    But you gotta love them!! :):)

  2. The behavior of our four legged family members never fail to amaze me.

    Although we do not own Shepherds, our three dogs display some of the Teutonic self righteousness exhibited by your beautiful dog.

    Although they get along well and are usually willing to share a residence, the competition for toys and human affection is extreme and the game is entertaining to watch.

    Thanks for sharing this post.

  3. Oh, come on! The gorgeous boy is still neurotic as all hell! LOL

  4. Both are cute dogs!

  5. Oh my gosh....this is like deja vu all over for me just reading this!!! Remember Koda the dog I rescued last month? This is EXACTLY how Kira and Koda were - except that Kira literally tried to kill Koda several times inside my apartment. As soon they stepped outside my apartment, she was fine with him...inside it was a way different story!! And I don't think she has quite forgiven me yet - even though he has been gone now for a few weeks.