Tuesday, April 13, 2010

In The Grip Of The Goddess

I've been trying my best not to write about this, but it has blotted everything else out of my mind today, so here goes.

My housekeeper/house sitter, whom I'll call Z, has acquired a small-breed puppy. The animal is male, five months old, un-neutered. Because she doesn't want to leave her dog in his crate at home while she cleans our house, she brings him along. I have mentioned to her before (when in fact I should have stated firmly) that the dog is a distraction and needs to be kept in the crate while she cleans.

Today I was at Wolfie's herding lesson when Z arrived. Prior to leaving, I had instructed my husband that Bisou was in standing heat and that Z was to keep her dog crated at all times.

How do I know that she is in standing heat, you ask? By Wolfie's behavior. Instead of sniffing and licking he has been determinedly grasping her hindquarters and making those distressing-looking motions...It takes a bit of agility on his part to do this, given how close to the floor she is, but he manages many, many times a day. Is she actually standing? Is she holding her tail to one side, as the books describe? I can't tell, because she is completely hidden by his bulk. But his actions tell me that things have come to the crisis point.

When I arrived home, Z's dog was in his crate. A while later, however, going to my bedroom to change shoes, I found the door closed and, inside, Z vacuuming and Bisou and Z's dog all over each other. Who was on top of and doing what to whom? I couldn't tell, they were moving so fast. I scooped up Bisou and put her in her downstairs crate, went back upstairs and told Z that I understood her need to bring the puppy along until he could be given the run of her house, but that while he was here he was supposed to be in his crate--especially with Bisou in raging heat; that three dogs in the house was all that I could handle; and, again, that Z's dog was proving a distraction in her work.

I kept my remarks brief and to the point, my voice as even as I could manage. But eight hours later my inner voice is still screaming, "What was she thinking? How could she so brazenly ignore our instructions? Z has had dogs before, and even goats. Doesn't she know that males in their infancy are perfectly capable of becoming fathers? And what, for crying out loud, am I doing allowing a fourth dog into the house at all?"

If this seems a little extreme, remember that it comes on top of three weeks of ceaseless and obsessive sexual behaviors by Wolfie and Bisou. Ceaseless. And all of it, except for one weekend we went away, has happened right at my side. My life has been an endless round of spreading towels on furniture, yelling "leave it!" to Wolfie, drying his drool off Bisou, giving her refuge between my feet or on my lap (and then having to wash my jeans in cold water).

As I write, Wolfie is asleep at my feet, Bisou at my side. They are exhausted. They have lost weight. Aphrodite is a cruel goddess, and when she grabs hold of you, you'd better watch out. But it will, I am told, soon be over. Mercifully, Bisou is a dog, not a teenage girl. A couple of months after her heat she will be ready for spaying, and we will all breathe a sigh of relief.

8 comments :

  1. "Aphrodite is a cruel goddess." Lovely last paragraph.

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  2. I'm still trying to wrap my head around Wolfie trying to mate with Bisou. The size difference is substantial.

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  3. Size means nothing--it's all pheromones!

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  4. Why is it you are waiting to have her spayed? I have always spayed/neutered young, but I've never had a dog as fancy and yours. Is it because she is a purebred?

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  5. Jaimie, I always spayed and neutered my dogs very young. The vets tell me, however, that the thinking has changed, and that it's best to wait to neuter male dogs until they are fully developed (we waited with Wolfie until he was 19 months) and to spay females half way between their first and second heats. Has to do with letting them get the full benefit of their hormones. But boy, is it a pain!

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  6. So...there's the slightest possibility that Bisou could be...

    Argh. Z's dog was at my house, and in the crate, but suddenly not at one point, not that we had an explicit discussion—I was just kind of surprised to find the dog without Z right by it. And, you know, I'd rather my rugs weren't peed on (no sign of this happening). Also, I found one of her dog toys in my dining room.

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  7. We should present a united front before Z: dog inside crate at all times. I can't believe Z is doing this in the first place, especially since the reason she has to bring the dog with her is that it is NOT house-trained.

    As to the Bisou possibility: I can't even contemplate it.

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  8. Thanks for the update! Good to know, it's been a while since I've gotten a baby animal! Boo and sniff. One day!

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