If Dogs Had Thumbs, They'd Use Them to Thumb Wrestle

Cooper has been in quarantine since we got her to avoid bringing any strange and contagious germs into the house with the puppies here. She's been healthy, and her 2 weeks of solitary confinement are up, so we introduced her to the house two days ago. That did not go as planned.

It was hot earlier this week. When it's hot outside, it's hot inside here, too, because we lack that wonderful thing the world calls Air Conditioning. Mostly because we live in a vortex of perpetual winter and only get about 3 weeks total (if you smash all the days together) of really hot and sweltery summer weather. We had about 2 of those days earlier this week, and one of them was a day I invited Cooper inside to be a part of our family.  The house was running in the low 80's and the ceiling fans were doing squat to move air. Humidity was killer, too. I say all this to help you understand that the weather was a factor in the "that did not go as planned" statement. French bulldogs just don't move air well what with their flat faces and breathing issues and stuff. And poor Cooper wasn't fond of being dragged out of the deep shade where she'd been living to the stuffy house. Couple that with the fact that she was very stressed by meeting 4 new dogs. A stressed dog pants. A hot dog pants. Her panting sounded like a freight train was coming through the house. I kid you not in that you had to shout above her noise. I was concerned for her.

I took her outside to calm down, cool off, and recover. She did. I let her out there. And then took her to the vet the next day to be sure she didn't have larger breathing issues than "she's a bulldog. Of course she'll have problems." Because a dog with severe breathing problems really shouldn't be having babies, and we focus on health first here. I left her at the vet where she was sedated, scoped and probed. Turns out, she's just a regular bulldog, which is awesome. Cooper has no health issues to be concerned about, but just sounds like a freight train when stressed. That's fun.

Today was a typical summer day in Somerset County, meaning it was cold enough to wear long sleeves for half the day and not sweat. The other half of the day you wished you wouldn't have taken off those long sleeves because you developed goose bumps while sitting in the shade. I'm not complaining. I love this weather. And so do the french people. Cooper was made an official part of our house today. Again. She panted heavily and loudly, I locked her up to give her a break from herself, and let her out again when she could breathe with her mouth closed once more. (Poor dog. She's a high stress individual, clearly.)

But Louie doesn't help the situation. Cooper is just trying not to get in the way of anyone while figuring out the pecking order and all things dog related, and Louie is jumping in her face every 3.5 seconds with that goofy puppy "wanna play?" look about him. I locked him up at one point to give Cooper a break from him as well. I had no idea that King Louie could be so obnoxious. Good grief.

But there is trouble in French Dog Land. We are all aware that King Louie is my dog. He's declared me as his very own person and the girls just roll their doggy eyes at him because he's small and needs coddled. Cooper, however, has also decided that I am her very own person. She, too, is a licker like Louie. (We call him Louie the Licker. He cleans my feet every time I stop long enough for him to give me a thorough washing.) Louie happened to notice that Cooper was licking me at one point and that's when Louie decided that Cooper was no longer his best friend, but more his best frenemy. She was all fun and games to play with but when she tried encroaching on his person, the dominance came out.

You have to know that french bulldogs aren't an aggressive breed. At all. Jealousy and dominance to them means things vastly different than for other dogs. Sure, there are the occasional squabbles over food or bones, but things like this? Never.

Cooper licked my feet. Louie saw it go down. He immediately stood a bit taller and marched his tiny little self over to my lap to sit on me. Cooper was not happy that Louie was sitting her person, so she just as determinedly shoved him off and started licking my hands. The look on Louie's face said, "ALL WAR IS GOING TO BREAK LOOSE IF YOU DON'T GET AWAY FROM MY PERSON" and I could tell that he was about to unleash the largest shoulder-shove you've ever seen, but I chose to intervene. The last thing I needed was to be bowled over by wrestling bullies, because that's what these dogs do; they wrestle. There is no fighting, ever. It's like a large version of leg wrestling or thumb wars, if dogs had thumbs.

That tears it! Throw off the gloves and get a thumb war started! I'm going to prove that I'm the best once and for all!

See how absurd that is? These dogs. They're hilarious. And eventually Cooper will breathe easy in the house, right?

No comments: