Tag Archives: dogs

A One-Dog Household Again

The good news: nobody died.

The bad news: After a year and a half of being best friends, Nia and Brinkley can no longer live together. The short version of the story is that Nia developed an aggressive streak that she was taking out on Brinkley.

A little longer version: We think it stemmed from the dog next door. Our two dogs run up and down the fence, barking with the German shepherd next door. It is something we have tried to discourage, using a schedule of when our dogs will be out and when their dog will, but schedules are never perfect. One day, Nia was watching said dog in its backyard, quietly woofing. Brink jumped up to see what she was watching and she attacked him, grabbing his skin around the bottom of his neck/top of his shoulders and would not let go. She would viciously shake her head, which I know is a move dog instinctively use to kill. My husband wasn’t home and it took me a minute or two to get her to let go. I put them in separate rooms and inspected Brinkley. He had some open wounds but seemed more scared of the incident than hurt.

We hoped it would be a one-time thing, but it continued. We could go several days to a week without any fighting, and in the meantime they’d act almost as if nothing ever happened. Brinkley was wary of Nia, but she would be submissive to him and they would play and even cuddle. Suddenly, her posture would change, she would stare at Brinkley, and then go after him. We wouldn’t leave them together unsupervised, and could often catch her before she made contact. Once contact was made however, it was a feat of strength to get her off him.

We had her tested for several health concerns that can trigger aggression, but she was healthy. We met with a behaviorist with no success. She did theorize that it is redirected aggression, which comes up when something is frustrating a dog, getting it worked up, but the dog cannot go after the frustration so it turns on the closest option. She remained submissive to us, but when she was focused on him, it was like the rest of the world faded to black. Food didn’t work. The vet suggested dumping water on her, but then just resulted in a wet dog fight.

Gradually, the fighting became more frequent. Brinkley initially would just run away from her, but started to try to defend himself. Everyone suffered injuries. We finally said enough is enough and Nia now lives with my in-laws. She’s perfectly behaved as the solo dog there, and my in-laws love her and dote on her.

The stress of the constant vigil was terrible. It preoccupied our lives, having to always be on guard. February and March are just a blur. I miss her, but I don’t miss that threat. Brinkley has recovered. Some of his injuries became infected for a while, but those are healing. Happy to be coming home from the vet:

Right after that, he suffered an unrelated nail injury, which required surgery, a cone, a foot bandage, and more medicine. The people at the vet all know Brinkley quite well, and my voice is recognized when I call in. I’m hoping the rest of 2012 involves less vet visits.

So we’re a one dog house again. The good thing is we can see Nia whenever we visit my in-laws. She no longer feels like my dog, which is good. I just feel fortunate that we all survived and I still have Sir Brinksalot.



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Been a while…

Yeah, so…..it’s been a while. February burst through the door earlier than expected, make a big mess, lots of noise, and could never entertain itself, so my time was occupied. I think I finally wore February out and convinced it to leave. Keep your fingers crossed!

In the meantime, I’ll give you the best thing I’ve got right now:

Brinkley and Nia!


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Thursday Tidbits 1/20/2011

It’s been a while since I did a Thursday tidbits. Just a few things:

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Thankful in 2010

Last year, I was able to list the things I was thankful for the day before Thanksgiving.  This year, I am a week late, but I still wanted to ponder the things I am thankful for this year.  In no particular order (with many a repeat, I am sure):

  • my adorable, patient, loving husband
  • my dogs Brinkley and Nia
  • the time I had with Jake at the beginning of the year before losing him all too soon
  • my family
  • my friends
  • books
  • rain
  • snow
  • wine
  • my home library
  • my home
  • my cozy, warm bed
  • sweatshirts, t-shirts, flannel pj pants, and cozy socks
  • fires
  • my health and the health of the people I love
  • my job
  • Disneyland and my upcoming visit there
  • sushi
  • comfort foods like pasta, mac & cheese, chicken chili
  • Diet Coke
  • David Gray
  • tv shows I love: Fringe, Friday Night Lights, Breaking Bad, Community, Glee, Mad Men
  • Buffy the Vampire Slayer reruns
  • ARCs, whether paper versions I receive in the mail like Across the Universe and Wither, or from Netgalley like We All Fall Down and Delirium
  • the holiday season
  • professional involvement through YALSA and other branches of ALA
  • The Beekman Boys and their goats
  • other animals that make me smile like goats, chickens, and bears
  • the good luck one earns by waving hi to cows
  • dogs and all the people who care for them
  • Love Actually
  • my DVRs
  • love
  • friendship

I hope you had a warm and comforting Thanksgiving!


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One Reason for the Silence

Want to know what has been keeping me so busy?  A new dog!  Meet Nia:

Nia was a stray who found her way to a family friend’s house.  She did not have a collar on, is not microchipped, and they couldn’t find anyone near who was missing a dog.  The family could not keep her, already owning 2 dogs, 9 cats, and 16 horses, so we took Brinkley to meet her.  I did not think we would come home with a dog, despite the fact that we decided we were ready.  Brinkley is selective with the dogs he likes, and I thought it would be hard to find a new friend for him.

When we got out of the car, she came bounding over to us and she and Brink immediately hit it off.  She seemed to sense the things he doesn’t like other dogs to do (sniff his rear, dominate him, etc).  So, after several hours, she came home with us.

After much discussion, we named her Nia.  The vet thinks she’s about 9 months old, which puts her birthday around the time Jake left us.  I can’t help but feel like our buddy hand-picked his replacement in some weird way.  The consensus among the vet staff and just about anyone who meets her is that she’s a lab/rottweiler mix, AKA a rottador according to one of the vet techs who has her own.  She has a large head with rott bone structure, and she has the lab black coat, sweetness and smile.  Nia is such a love.

She really loves my husband, which makes me happy since Brink has always been partial to me, but she is not picky with her love.  Already, she has won over my in-laws, my sister, and my mom.  Brinkley continues to love her, expressing none of the jealously issues he had with Jake, and romping with her anytime she wants.  She has a lot of that puppy energy still, which is a lot of fun to have around the house.  We’re starting to work on obedience training, and will enroll her in a class through our county park program.  With a dog this big already, she needs to know who’s boss.

Her tail is docked, which could mean it was injured at some point, but I can’t help but think whomever had her first did it due to the rottweiler in her.  But who knows.  She wags what she has very happily; my husband calls her Nia Nubbins because of it.

She’s not fixed yet, but has an appointment in a week.  I’m adamant about not contributing to the animal overpopulation.

We are all happy to be a two-dog house again.  It feels good to have that much more love in our life, and Nia has lots of love to give us.

Brinkley is happy to have a new BFF, and she really wears him out.


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Thursday Tidbits 8/26/10

I want fall to get here just in the hopes that things will slow down a bit!  In the meantime:

Unfortunately, that is all I have today.  I did start reading Mockingjay but I’m only about 50 pages in due to lack of time.  Hopefully I can really get in to it this weekend!

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