(NaBloPoMo Day 9)
Is NaBloPoMo kicking anyone else’s ass? I’m hanging in there, but I am really struggling to find the time to post.
Anyway, the prompt I chose for this week’s Mama Kat’s Pretty Much World Famous Writer’s Workshop is “Introduce us to one of your four-legged friends.”
This is so timely, because I’ve been meaning to make a post about Aristotle, our 2.5 year old AmStaff boy, for quite some time. I’m seeking advice from other dog owners, especially with experience with Staffies and other Pit Bull breeds, because I have some issues.
But first….he was this adorable, chunky, squishy thing. I named him Aristotle Butterbean; Ari for short.
He’s grown from that little chunk to this:
Isn’t he such a handsome boy?
He STILL sleeps with his tongue out, and I love it! I especially love when I wake him up suddenly and he gives me the evil eye but I can’t really take it seriously because he’s got this knit brow and serious look above the nose, but the cute little tongue is still hanging out from sleep. I have been unable to capture a photo of that, but here he is chillin’ with my oldest son:
He is the funniest, sweetest boy. Example: the other night, I had him out in the living room with me, and my girls (April, my Dachshund, and Oakley, my Taco Terrier) were in my bedroom. The girls were loudly crying, and I had just gotten off my double shift and just wanted to eat and watch the previous night’s This Is Us episode. And they would NOT SHUT UP! I finally told them “Shut up! Or I am going to re-home every one of you!” Because you know they can understand me, right?
Aristotle was curled up beside me. His ears perked up and he lifted his head, and he actually talked to me. I don’t know what he said because it was in doggy language, and I don’t have all that worked out just yet! But I thought it was incredible how he picked up on my distress and attempted to comfort me with cute doggy noises. Or maybe he was chastising me, who knows? I mean, that was a pretty mean (albeit empty) threat.
Although he’s really sweet and smells like baby shampoo and charms ladies and gentlemen alike everywhere we go, he is now 75 pounds of pure muscle. We’ve had him since he was weaned, and have not had issues until this past summer. I’ll spare you all the details, but the long and short of it is that he got into it with Oakley after a new neighbor and her dogs moved in. My sons weren’t home and I had to break it up. It was messy. It was traumatizing. Saving her was expensive. It still makes me nervous to have them in the same room together, so I separate them. The whining and crying is driving me up the wall.
This is where I ask for advice, as surely I’m not the only person out there whose dogs don’t get along? I think it’s mostly his maturity. I’ve spared you all any pics that show the set of truck nuts this dog now has, which should have been removed long ago, but he’s my son’s dog and my son didn’t have it done when he was a young puppy, and now I’m afraid neutering him might make him truly aggressive. And now my fingers are out of breath. I think his maturity, coupled with becoming territorial because of the new neighbor dogs, is probably the gist of it.
He loves my Dachshund and has no issues with her. He tries to love Oakley, and they get along till they don’t (three times since this, he’s gone after her and I’ve had to stop it. He’s not gone after her aggressively, but he has a high prey drive and she runs from him now. If I allow him to “catch” her I may have another bloodbath on my hands. We actually tried re-integrating them after a time, but this is what led to me separating him from the girls.) He responds really well to my sons and their commands, but they aren’t here a lot of the time due to work. Before this summer, he NEVER showed any aggression – food, animal, human, or anything else.
Do I get him fixed? Will that make it worse? Can this be trained out of him? I’m at a loss. I don’t want to constantly have to hear crying when my other dogs are separated from me, and crying from him when he has to go in his kennel when I go to bed at night. But their safety is more important than my feelings, so I can definitely keep this up if need be.
I don’t want to end this on a bad note. I love all my dogs so much (yes, I consider Ari, my son’s dog, mine), and have no plans to re-home any of them. I am just trying to figure out what the best course of action is from here on out.
Have YOU ever had an issue with your pets not getting along? What worked for you?