I’ve been dropped. Like a hot potato. Or a bad habit. By my dog.
Yep, my trusted sidekick Boomer has left me for another. My husband.
You see, for years Boomer was our only dog. She was the spoiled Queen B (for Boomer!) and pretty much ruled the roost. Then our daughter got a Beagle who visited every now and then. Boomer put up with Barry because Barry came and went and didn’t stay forever.
Unfortunately for Boomer, her owners fell in love with Barry and decided they wanted a Beagle of their own. Enter Nikki, the rescued Beagle we brought home last December. Unlike Barry, this Beagle doesn’t go away.
At this point Boomer was still “my” dog and Nikki was pretty much my husband’s. Two people, two dogs, all happy.
Happiest it seems when the two dogs are running free on our neighborhood golf course early in the morning or late in the evening when the golfers are gone but the deer and rabbits aren’t. Yep, my husband takes them nearly every day to do this and they love it! It’s made him their favorite and now I’m on the back burner. No amount of belly rubs, treats, or walks on a leash can compare to FREEDOM!!!
To make matters worse, Barry is back with us and looks to be indefinitely. It’s no big deal as we love having him around, but now we have a pack. A pack that sticks together. A pack that follows “Dog King,” as my husband likes to call himself, everywhere. Where he sits, they sit. Where he sleeps, they sleep. Just hearing the garage door open puts them in a full run to the door; Barry howling her Beagle howl all the way. Same thing in the morning. “You up???” “You ready to go???” You see, the pack thinks at any minute he could load them in the car and each one has major FOMO. They, even my beloved Boomer, won’t risk being with me in my office as I write this…or anywhere with just me…because if she is, she might miss out on the freedom ride.
She used to sit behind my back on my desk chair but now only comes in my office if Barry and/or Nikki come too. She’s definitely Alpha Dog though, as any good Jack Russell is, and our little pack of pooches have their roles. Boomer is the boss of the bunch, Barry is the fun youngster, and Nikki is the wise old veteran. They even have nicknames. Boomer is “OG” for original gangsta, Barry is “OB” cuz he’s the original Beagle, and Nikki is “LB” because she’s a tad stocky. OG, OB, and LB. I couldn’t love them more.
It doesn’t help that Dog King is forever giving his three followers “treats.” I literally cannot buy enough of them. Yet another reason they follow his every step.
Funny thing is, I’ve always been the dog person. He’s always liked our dogs but never to this extent. I secretly love it though, but please don’t tell any of them this!
It’s a fun dynamic even though Boomer’s dissing of me breaks my heart. It also reminds me that dogs are pack animals at heart and stick together.
I saw a variation of this months ago online regarding wolves. If you see a line of wolves in the wild, the three wolves leading the group aren’t the leaders; they are generally old and sick and have earned the front to set the pace. If younger wolves did so, these older ones would be left behind. By having them upfront, the group sticks together.
The next five in the line are the strongest of the bunch and their job is to protect the pack from any attack. The five behind them are also strong and theirjob is to protect the back of the pack.
And that last little wolf? The last one is the leader! He ensures that no one is left behind, keeps the pack united, and keeps all members on the same path. He’s also always ready to do anything it takes to protect the pack. You could say he’s the “bodyguard” of all.
“The strength of the pack is the wolf. The strength of the wolf is the pack.”
The Jungle Book
I remember learning similar things about sled dogs when I visited a musher camp in Alaska. Surprisingly, the hardest working aren’t the leads, but rather the two at the end of the tug line.
So, if our dogs were wolves, my guess is Nikki would be the lead, Barry would be in the middle, and Boomer would be the last one. Hopefully thinking of me the whole time.