Monday, August 23, 2010

The Alpha Female

One would think that, as the only female in the house, I rate special consideration and attention.

One would be wrong.

Oh I'm not one of the guys. Thank goodness. But I'm not really the Queen Bee either. At least, not in the eyes of some members of our family.

Like this one.

This is Sonny, our six-year-old Lab/Shepherd mix. He is the most intelligent dog I've ever seen, and as you can see, he has a high cool factor as well.

Sonny sees himself as third in line at our house, right after Indiana and Luke, who is his master. I'm somewhere further down the totem pole in his estimation, and therefore he doesn't always see the need to put my wishes first. Since he's a guard dog, he considers me out of line when I wake Luke up in the morning. He gets between me and the bed and growls and barks fiercely to protect his master. 

At least, he used to.

I'm not letting a dog call the shots in this family. I held his gaze and loudly and firmly told him who was boss. It took awhile, but Sonny now acknowledges that I have some say so. I'm kind of like the Vice President. You show some respect, but you know they really can't do anything.

If I annoy Sonny, which happens occasionally, he will avert his eyes in a clear signal that I'm the leader. Then he goes and sits in his bed and maintains a low grumble, while watching me out of the corner of his eye. He's such a teenager.

In spite of our power struggle, I've tried to make friends. I talk to him, but he ignores me. I pet him. He tolerates me. I'll try to play keep away with his toys. He'll play for a while, but then walk away with the disdainful air of a ninth grader looking at a seventh grader. It's all about status with him.

However, there's one area where Sonny knows to turn to me. I'll be sitting in the living room in the evening when I suddenly feel eyes on me. Sonny will be standing across the room, staring at me with an unblinking gaze. If I ignore him, he'll come sit at attention near my chair, always with that same stare. No response from me makes him finally nudge my arm with his nose. Then I'll sigh and comment to Luke that Sonny has needs. As soon as Luke gets up, Sonny will race for the door and wait impatiently for Luke to follow.

I don't know why Sonny won't simply go to Luke for his nightly constitutional. Luke takes him on regular walks, plays with him and is general inseparable. But for some reason, that night time duty must be pointed out to me. Not that he'll go out if I personally open the door. He refuses. He just wants me to point the job out to Luke.

I think he's being passive-aggressive.

What do you think?


  1. I think its a good thing God made them so cute : )

  2. I love that dogs have such character! Sonny sounds like a doozy. :)

  3. We had a dog who dismissed my authority once... It was frustrating and I had to wrestle a little bit of grudging respect the same way you did... When he aged some he grew closer and closer to me, I think he grew to appreciate my more gentle ways. By the time he was 7 or 8 he was clearly my dog, and would follow me around...
    The whole passive aggressive thing is hilarious though...

  4. Giggles, my Orlando friend, my daughter lives on the out skirts of Orlando, St Cloud, hugs and yep they are adorable, you just gotta love em, hugs and blessings, Barbara

  5. Have you ever seen the Dog Whisperer on Nat. Geo. Oh, the things he can do with a dog in a matter of minutes is amazing.

  6. That is just too funny! But I must admit now you have me thinking about my "Lily" and the way she acts with me. hmmm I'll have to ponder this a bit. Maybe she is the one running the house. lol

  7. He's a cutie! I admire you for being the only female. I think you should demand pampering!! :)


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