My Dog Is Neurotic

Some years ago now, at a previous job, a colleague of mine who raised Chihuahuas on the side, brought a litter of puppies to work. (He was a clever, canny man.) They were quite young, far too small to leave their mother. I picked up and held a puppy who snuggled right up in my arms. He was timid and overly sensitive and all he wanted was to be held and protected from a world that was big and noisy and upsetting. I knew immediately that was was exactly the dog NOT to get. He would not socialize well. Six weeks later, he was mine, for $50 bucks a month until he was paid for.

I named him Fudge and he remains exactly like the puppy he was. Timid, overly sensitive, completely and embarrassingly neurotic. But he loves his people fiercely. He loves to snuggle. He also tends to fat. Alas. He is sneaky about stealing food from the other dogs. We have made some progress with his anxiety disorder and utter state of neurosis. He no longer pees in terror when he sees someone new, for example.

Bella

Bella is … oh dear. My son and I got her from the pound. She’s about two, and I think I know why she was surrendered. She’s is exuberant, high energy lovable dog who thinks EVERYONE LOVES HER and is easily distracted. Once distracted, she is unable to focus. She cannot be let outside at times of the day when wildlife is out and about because she gets distracted and thinks she’s going to catch a turkey or a rabbit or maybe, FINALLY!!!! the sheep will consent to play with her. Or the deer. RABBIT!!!!!! I can’t hear you calling me. MANURE TO ROLL IN!!!!!!! I can’t hear you….

We have also made some progress with Bella. BUT.

Fudge has a special spot on my bed when I am writing, and he isn’t sleeping on the chair behind my back. That special spot is on a fuzzy blue blanket. It is his nest. He is curled up on it right now. He’s snoring.

Bella has noticed this. And now there is a passive-aggressive battle going on for possession of the blue fuzzy blanket. The first time Fudge saw Bella sleeping on HIS blanket, he went into melt down. In fact, I have a picture of it:

pitiful dog

Betrayed

I thought it was funny the first time. Heh! Bella’s on Fudge’s blanket and he’s about to turn into a puddle of despair. That was in November. Now it’s January and well, it’s psychological warfare, people.

The Battle For the Fuzzy Blue Blanket.

I thought I was clever in digging up a SECOND fuzzy blue blanket. What could be better than both dogs having their very own fuzzy blue blanket? Everyone would be happy!

Apparently, I have completely misjudged what’s going on. I will illustrate this with a story from today.

Bella was asleep on my bed, having made a nest of BOTH fuzzy blue blankets in Fudge’s spot.

Fudge comes into my room expecting to curl up in his fuzzy blue blanket, only OH NOES!!! There is Bella.

So I take one of the blankets and I make a pile of it, thinking, in my naivete, that he will curl up there and start snoring.

No. No, he does not. He sits there staring at me, going into full blown neurotic melt down. My god. Then Bella lifts her head and sees that Fudges is (sort of) snuggled in the OTHER blue blanket. After about 20 minutes of neurotic staring and glaring all around Fudge leaves.

And Bella gets up and goes to sleep on the blue blanket Fudge was, very unhappily, not really sleeping on.

I am not equipped to handle this battle of doggie passive-aggression over a blanket. And really, Bella can’t be allowed to win. Fudge would never recover.

There’s a Cat Problem, too

My son’s cat, Tiger (a girl despite the name) has this bizarre love-affair going with Bella. Nobody quite understands it except theirs appears to be a deep and true love.

Fudge sleeps under the covers with me, in the same particular spot, which he can only get into after going through a certain ritual of getting onto the bed…

Tiger has once again begun her previous habit of stepping on the lump-in-the-bed that is Fudge until he squeaks, and I can’t help thinking Bella has put her put to it.

I’m doomed.

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