Not exactly best friends

The weekend after Pitt's Homecoming, we had more house guests including one canine.  You may recall a few months ago when Murphy first met Winston.  They got along well enough (which is all relative when you're talking about Murphy) that we dared say they might even be friends.

Come on guys! Try to be friends!

Well, after this latest meet-up I think it's safe to say that they're not exactly best of friends.

Maybe if we do this you'll become friends!

I know it's not fair to compare another dog with your own, because the other dog will never win, but it's hard to avoid making a comparison.  Murphy is so calm; Winston has crazy puppy energy.  Murphy listens like an angel; Winston could care less what you're saying, even if he hears you.  Murphy never bites; I think Winston bit at me at least 10 times that weekend.

Maybe because we made him wear this pumpkin costume

Murphy is used to being the alpha dog, and most other dogs - including Dillon the pit bull - have accepted that without much fuss.  Only once has Murphy ever given up the alpha dog role, and that was to his friend Sydney.   In each of these scenarios the dogs determine rather quickly which dog is going to be the boss, and which is going to be the boss-dogs wing man (er.. wing dog.)  But for some reason that balance of power did not play out with these two dogs, which resulted in one of the most vicious fights I have even seen Murphy be a part of over a rawhide that Winston was trying to steal.  He's a dog, he's going to steal rawhides.  I get that.  But he fought back so viciously and Murphy stood his ground so firmly that I had to jump in, and for one of the first times ever I was really worried that one of them was going to get hurt. 

Having another dog in the house - one that I don't love nearly as much as I love my own - is hard, because while I consider myself to be a dog lover at heart and want to love all dogs, the truth is that most other dogs just aren't that great in my eyes.   I'm guessing that Winston's owner, a friend of ours from college, will be sad to hear that I don't love Winston, but hopefully that's ok - I can't love all dogs, and it's natural to favor your own pet.  In fact, I'm sure that Winston's owners love him just as much as we love Murphy, and that's why I truly believe that there's a dog out there for everyone.

We watched Winston for an entire afternoon and evening while they attended a wedding and reception and it was one of the most stressful and taxing evenings I've had in a long time.  It was like putting two mortal enemies together in a room and trying to keep them from killing each other.  We took them on a walk hoping that it would wear them out and put them to sleep and while Winston did get tired (he only walks on three legs so he wore out pretty quickly) he wasn't actually sleepy once we got back.  Murph on the other hand was ready to veg out on the couch but Winston kept barking and running up to him.  Dave laid on the couch and I took the loveseat and we just laid there trying to keep the dogs calm, but Winston barked and whined the entire time.  It was excruciating.  I don't feel comfortable disciplining a dog that's not mine.  So we didn't really do anything.

 The little tripod

I talk a lot about how I want another dog, maybe even more.  It's true - I feel like I have the room in my heart to love a second dog just as much as I love Murphy, but every time I actually have a second dog in my house, I immediately realize that it might be a bad idea.

First of all, Murphy doesn't love other dogs, but he absolutely loves us, and I would hate for him to be miserable for the rest of his life simply because I thought it would be cute to give him a "brother."  Secondly, I realized recently that I don't think I could love a second dog as much as I love Murphy.  I think he would always be top dog in my heart, and would that really be fair to the other dog?  DH feels the same way, and doesn't think that he will ever love another dog as much as he loves Murph (and he means EVER, as in "we should never get a dog after Murphy because he will never be as good and we will never love him as much.")

"Maybe if I stand up here, he won't be able to reach me"

I want another dog, someday.  But not while we have Murphy.  He is the perfect dog for us and he deserves the undivided attention that comes from being the only permanent canine in the house.  Visiting canine guests are always welcome, but I think I'm finally at the point where I've realized that Murphy doesn't want - and will probably never have - canine friends.  That's a big thing for me to say - I'm giving up my dream of ever having two dogs.  But he's worth it. 

We love you Murphy bug! (Most costume-tolerant dog ever.)


Mario said...

Winston hates this blog. And he walks on four legs now.

Emily said...

I wouldn't take it too personally. Rooney has lots of dog friends and this is how they play. Run, steal each other treats, chase, roll around growling, jump on one another. They are mostly dominance games and it doesn't mean one dog is misbehaving or being a bully. No one ever gets hurt unless one of the dogs has not been properly socialized or has anxiety. They are dogs, they are social and that is how they roll :)

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