When you’re two dogs living in the same house there are a lot of things you have to share. You have to share mom and dad, treats, toys, and sometimes the same bed. I’ve always been very proud of Kali, and especially of Kloe who is still a puppy, for doing very well with sharing without fighting; well sometimes tug of war but mostly with toys are rarely with mom and dad.
One of the things I respect is when our pups have a meal or a special treat like a bully stick. I don’t take it for granted that they will share it or that I can simply walk over and take it away. I can take it away and I make a point, again especially with Kloe, to occasionally pick up her bowl in the middle of a meal and then immediately give it back. Kloe trusts me and I can’t imagine she would ever become aggressive with me when taking away her bowl or a toy. But that doesn’t mean I don’t respect that she is an animal with instincts. Oh yeah and large sharp teeth.
I don’t give the pups bully sticks very often. Those are usually reserved for special occasions or what I call Rainy Day Recess. Calling this Rainy Day Recess is an artifact of Holly having taught pre-school for over 20 years. It’s those days when the dogs can’t outside because it’s raining and they’ve got a lot of energy to burn of with little room to do it in – kind of like pre-schoolers on a rainy day…
So earlier this week when we had some rain I declared Rainy Day Recess and pulled out a couple of bully sticks. The girls really love this treat and if they had more cognitive thinking skills they would probably wish every day was raining. I handed them the sticks and Kali and Kloe went to their respective corners of the living room and began chewing. They looked a lot like I do with a real big piece of beef jerky trying to soften it up and get it into my body as fast as possible. Because, well because I love beef jerky.
I made a point – a couple of times – to go to each one of them individually and ask them to “leave it” and let me take the bully stick. They are clearly more reluctant to give up the bully stick than a bowl of regular meal food but they do. I give it right back to them all the while praising them for “leaving it”. With a pat and sometimes a kiss on top of their heads I let them know that I approve of them giving up this treasured treat but that I will give it back. It’s a good relationship, as most good relationships are, built on trust.
So I’m accustomed to the pups not having any food aggression of any sort. But when it comes to meal time, although they eat next to one another with bowls only inches away, it would only be expected that one or them to get a little testy if the other placed their mouth near her bowl. Kali and Kloe eat meals at the same time right next to each other. Although they get different size portions (Kloe gets more because she is still growing) they usually finish up about the same time. You’d think that Kloe would take longer because she get’s more food but sometimes she finishes fist. I noticed this the other night and I was a little surprised when I saw Kloe move over to Kali’s bowl while Kali was still eating. There had been one incident when Kloe was only nine weeks old and tried to take some food out of Kali’s dish while Kali was eating. With a low growl and quick nip to Kloe’s ear Kali delivered a message and lesson to Kloe that I thought would last a lifetime.
So on this night when Kloe put her snout into Kali’s dish I thought, “uh-oh” Kali’s not going to like this. I was waiting for Kali to take an aggressive move and put Kloe in her place. But no. Instead she kept eating and allowed Kloe to help finish off the few morsels that remained in her bowl.
Wow! My Golden Kali set such a great example that transcends pets. If only we as people could exhibit as much tolerance and sharing as she has this world would have to be a better place. Right?
So thank you my Golden Kali for teaching me yet another lesson in a series of so many since you rescued me.
This is how they usually start out – side by side.
But to finish like this was rather remarkable!