The Floor is Evil
What happens when alpha dog gets sick and beta dog loses it.
Posted Apr 10, 2014
Let me give a few details before I tell you more about Dog 1 and Dog 2.
Dog 1: IQ = Around four years old.
(Picture Dog 1 wearing a smoking jacket and sounding like Alan Rickman.)
Dog 2: IQ = Dog.
Both dogs are rescued. Dog 2 arrived in Dog 1’s life when she was six months old, and he was 3-1/2. Dog 2 thinks Dog 1 is completely responsible for her Living the Good Life. Dog 2 has also learned everything about being a dog from Dog 1. He limps, she limps. He eats, she eats. He gets sick, she falls apart.
(One area of difference: Dog 2 loves digging holes, with both paws moving like a backhoe. Then she lays in said hole. Dog 1 thinks this is gauche.)
One day Dog 1 has three grand mal seizures in a row, with one seizure happening right at the front door as we are on our way out to go to the vet. Dog 2 witnesses the seizures and is horrified, starts drooling. Then Dog 2 realizes Dog 1 is at the front door—and I have my car keys in hand while soothing Dog 1. Dog 2 puts together that this is an excellent opportunity for a car ride. I run out carrying Dog 1. Dog 2 is alternately confused and angry about why Dog 1 gets a car ride and she doesn’t.
Dog 1 is admitted to the hospital for a few days while he adjusts to his new meds. I arrive home. Without Dog 1.
At first Dog 2 is partying it up. She kind of likes her new freedom. No one watching me while I eat. Bonus. Toy bin all to myself. Bonus. All the petting and treats. Bonus. Life is good.
Then on the second day, it hits her. Dog 1 still isn’t home. And that’s when Dog 2’s Life Falls Apart.
Dog 2 realizes two things: Dog 1 had seizures on the floor. Dog 1 has now mysteriously disappeared.
So Dog 2 puts 2 and 2 together, and comes up with 16.
The floor is evil.
Dog 2 starts refusing to walk on the floor. When Dog 2 goes to the front door for her walk, she flails wildly across the floor. Picture something similar to Road Runner. Except uncoordinated. When Dog 2 gets to the front door, she has a look of relief.
Dog 2’s fear begins to bleed into other areas. When Dog 2 rides in the car, she starts sitting behind the seat cover instead of on it. So I have one dog with a seizure disorder in the hospital, and another dog at home with “issues.”
Dog 2 then starts taking over full patrol duties in the yard. Before Dog 1 got sick, Dog 2 was “notification barker” and Dog 1 was “follow-up barker.” Dog 1 got Dog 2 to do the dirty work of pacing and doing the notification bark, and Dog 1 got the glory of prancing outside and telling the dogs who was boss. Now Dog 2 is doing the whole routine. She gets a little too into it. She goes from “bark” to “bark bark bark bark bark bark.” Poodle? Bark. Frog? Bark. Lint? Bark.
Then one day the car pulls up. Dog 2 walks out, and there is Dog 1 sitting in the car. Dog 2’s emotions go from “Yaaaaay!! Dog 1 is back!!!” to “Whoa, he is seriously messed up” in about two seconds. Dog 2 does not know what to make of this. She sits very still while Dog 1 sniffs her. She is concerned he could morph into Godzilla at any point. She keeps a healthy distance. Dog 1 is too stoned to care.
Dog 1’s legs are still pretty wobbly from his new seizure medicine. This reinforces Dog 2’s idea that the floor is evil.
I get non-skid boots for Dog 1 so he can navigate the floor better. This is the equivalent of getting Alan Rickman to wear Uggs. It’s not happening. So there goes the attempt of having Dog 2 witness the floor’s miracle healing powers on Dog 1.
I get carpet runners for the floor. Dog 1’s doing great, but Dog 2 is gingerly moving from runner to runner. It’s like when we were kids and jumped from couch to couch, pretending the floor was lava. Except to Dog 2, this floor is no game. Here she is avoiding the evil floor.
Finally, one day Dog 2 sees a miracle. Dog 1 is walking on the floor, without the carpet underneath his feet. And as an extra bonus, he is standing upright. Dog 2’s faith in the floor is slowly being restored.
Then the alpha dog order starts changing. Sort of.
Dog 1 decides to permanently turn over patrol duties to Dog 2. Dog 2 is cool with this. Dog 1 starts watching Dog 2 again while she eats. Dog 2 is not cool with this, but finds some comfort in things returning to normal, and throws Dog 1 some dry brown pebbles from her dish.
Dog 1 tries walking up the stairs. Dog 1’s back legs need some help, as they are working independently from the rest of his body. Dog 2 gives Dog 1 a “good luck, buddy” glance as she trots up the stairs. Dog 2 stands at the top of the stairs while Dog 1 is helped up. Dog 2 literally rolls her eyes at him.
Dog 2 is still having some issues with the floor. However, the more Dog 1 walks on the floor without any life-changing consequences, the more Dog 2 is okay with it. And Dog 2 is watching Dog 1. Intently. Because you never know.
If you'd like to see more of Dog 1 and Dog 2 in action, watch the following: ADHD Dog Guessing Game .
(In the video Dog 1 is Dog 2, and vice versa. Because I know that is important. ha)
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