The dogs are onto it. They know Ellison’s coming. Jackson knew earlier than Tucker, it would appear. Jax knew close to two months in and, since, he’s barely left my lovely wife’s side. Practically inseparable. He’s always been a little bit of a spook…standing there. Staring. Glaring. Saying things like, “I see dead people” like that little manboy in Sixth Sense. He demands a ton of time too. Always has to be pet. Fed on time.
But he’s more attentive to her like he’s never been before. He walks with a leeriness like he’s never before. Barks a little more often. He’s taking to more of a protector role. And, yes, I think he sees me as a threat. We’ve kinda grown apart over all of this. It seems that he’s a little colder. He’s more demanding of me. He’s less a loving dog to me than a taskmaster. Feed me. Walk me. Let me go outside. Dude’s really just using me as means to an end. Of course, he’s always kinda had that in him. He absolutely adores my lovely wife, though.
Tucker has about a quarter the brain that Jax does. Tux was a little late on the pregnancy, but I’ve determined that it’s setting in. He’s in on it. He’s processing it though with a much more somber tone. He’s moping. So much so that we’ve considered getting him prozak to pop him out of it. For a while, I was thinking that he was just growing older. Dude’s three years old and has forever acted like a puppy. Humping nearly every dog at the park, fighting the rest. Would play until he passed out. Marks everything in his path. I thought that it was logical that he was just growing out of it and finally slowing down. He’s turning much more lethargic. And, the most alarming part is that he can’t make it through thunderstorms now without completely coming unhinged. He’s never been like that. He’s sad. Fearful. Don’t know if it’s all related to the pregnancy, but after some research today, it’s true that dogs can pick up on changes in their owners…both physical and behavioral. And they all process it differently. Some become anxious. Others aggressive.
The other thing is that dogs are also well tuned to changes in schedules or habits. That’s kinda been my job is to keep them busy and active. Make sure they still get walked. But nothing seems to pull them out of it completely. Jax has turned into an old man. He looks at situations with that “yep, that’s how they get ya'” look of post-war American skepticism. When you’re putting food down, he seems to be asking, “Yeah, but what does this require of me over, say, the next three years?” Tux has turned into freaking Chicken Little with the kinda bark that strips paint off walls. He turns into a freaking firework show that you can’t make stop. Plus watching their mother’s belly become a beach ball has gotta be setting them off on something.
My Aunt Pam (owner of GoodDog in Coeur d’Alene, ID) sent a calming collar which emits a pheromone similar to that which is emitted by his mother which helps calm him as a puppy. We’ll see how it works. From the point you crack it open, you have 30 days of pheromone. Will watch the weather forecast for the right week to jump it off.
It seems that together, they’re becoming a bit more deviant too. I’m running into many more instances of them turning over trash cans and annoying barking. They’re less responsive to punishment. Came home from church today to find they overturned a trash can that was sitting on top of the counter which contained coffee grounds (our trash cans always have coffee grounds), discarded chicken parts, pineapple scraps, empty Tecate cans, an empty ice cream tub. Damn near took them out to the country and dropped them off until my lovely wife told me that she probably left the trash on the ground.Pregnant lady gets a pass.
Nursery is near complete at this point after the mural went up on the wall. Pics of that to come later.