Saturday, December 4, 2010
The Dancing of the Species
Jackson does not understand that Max is not a dog...and Max has decided that Jack is really a cat in disguise. And that Jack's bed is really his bed, as you can see.
When we brought this "little" puppy home, he was the same size as Max and I think Jackson still believes this is true, even though at six months, he probably now weighs somewhere around 60 pounds. He's still got a lot of puppy in him, although I now believe he will actually become a dog that we can live with. But the puppy part of Jack hasn't quite figured out why this ball of fur with feet...Just. Won't. Play.
Max seems to be equally confused.
The cats' area of the house is the upstairs and the basement and Jack is confined, by both baby gates and training, to the main level of the house. We recently put up the baby gates to block our dining room off for the Christmas tree, anticipating that breakable ornaments and strings of lights and a six month old puppy were not a good pairing. Jackson is treating the gates pretty much as walls, much to my relief. Max has decided, however, that he does not particularly like being confined anywhere and he wants to be where all the people are, as well as this interesting new animal that keeps getting bigger and bigger by the day. He will squeeze his big, round, Garfield-like body underneath the four or five inches that Justin left at the bottom of the gate to the kitchen, resembling something like John Candy trying to do an army basic training maneuver on his belly, all the while looking at us with an expression that says, "Why won't you people help me?"
Once he has made it to the living area, Jackson is immediately Max's bodyguard. He will follow him around, towering (now) over top of him. If Max moves, Jack moves with him...it's a strange dance. Max will rub up against Jack's muzzle with adoration, wondering why the hell this new addition to the family won't pet him. Jack thinks Max has come for a play date.
For Jack's part, he is absolutely smitten with Max, as you can see by his willingness to give up his bed for him. Jack is in no way under the illusion that he is in charge, even though he could eat Max for an appetizer and still be looking for the main course. He will trot up to the cat, toy hanging out of his mouth, the entire back end of his body wagging, imploring Max to get with the program. The cat looks at him like he's crazy...and reaches up to rub his head (containing a brain with an I.Q. of approximately 3) against Jackson's slobbery mouth. And then wonders why his head is wet.
Jackson is turning into the dog I had hoped for, although I am now not physically able to take him for a walk. It always turns into him walking me, while I battle for control and the use of the arm holding the leash. The only walking of the dog that I do now is right before bed, when he is way more interested in doing his business while he still can than ripping my arm out of the socket.
Jack and I have an ongoing dance of our own, which involves me sharply saying "Stop IT!" and towering over him until he slinks over to his corner, puppy dog eyes fixed on mine like I am the meanest woman in the world. You'd think I'd repeatedly beaten this dog, the guilt trip he tries to lay on me for reprimanding him for sniffing everything on the coffee table (and usually licking my water glass, if I'm stupid enough to leave it sitting there) or poking the kids in the butt with his nose on their way by. He believes that Joey is another puppy, so if Joey is in the room, I am continually saying, "Stop IT!" if Joey wants to simply sit and watch a movie, as Jack slinks by me to pull at Joey's pants, begging him to "PAY ATTENTION TO ME!"
It's puppy love...for the cat and the people. The other cat is smart enough to stay upstairs. I think that's the only reason I don't need an increase in my klonopin prescription.