Old Dog, New Tricks

When Tami and I got married, I brought two kids and she brought a dog into our new blended family. As you might imagine, bringing two spoiled kids and one spoiled dog together under one roof has required a lot of adjustment by all concerned–parents, kids, and especially the dog.

Chloe is a ten-year-old Pekingese with a temperament something like a cat. She owns her space and she owns whomever she allows in her space at any particular time.

She thinks it’s her duty to protect whoever is in her space and to attack whoever encroaches on her space without her permission.

Now, contrast her temperament with the temperament of the kids, who have no respect for personal space and, consequently, are always encroaching in your space!

So, this first year has been a struggle for personal space around our house. Chloe owns her space and the kids always want to be in it!

Here’s what I mean…

If I go sit down on the couch, it won’t be long until Chloe comes around begging to get up on the couch and lie beside me. Once she lays down beside me, both me and the couch now belong to her. So, if one of the kids approaches to join us on the couch, Chloe goes in to attack mode because it is her canine responsibility to protect me from whomever enters our space without her permission.

When you give her a doggie treat, she will take it in another room and lay down and drop it out of her mouth on the floor between her front paws, I suppose, to guard it. It’s like she’s daring you to take her doggie treat away. And I can guarantee you, no one dares to take it away!

Although Chloe is an older dog and fairly set in her ways, it seems that lately she’s becoming more of a kid’s dog. She waits for the kids at the bottom of the stairs each morning until they wake up and come downstairs. She follows them around the house to see what they’re doing.

She wants to go outside when the kids go outside. She lies beside them when they’re playing video games or watching TV.

So, who says you can’t teach an old dog new tricks? Especially when it comes to kids and their new, self-appointed guard dog!

Who knows, they may even teach the dog to read…and she may teach them to respect her space!

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