Remember when I said I was going to get a female Great Dane to go along with Walter, my male Dane? Remember when I said that would mean less swaggering about with doggy testosterone and there would be peace in all of my canine kingdom? Yeah, I remember saying that, too. I was an idiot.
Everyone told me that females always rule the roost and Walter would be happy to give in to the wishes of his new sister. They were wrong. Walter is not happy letting Greta do whatever she wants to do. He’s not happy at all. If on a whim she decides to drift over to his food bowl, he will snarl. He’s always been somewhat food aggressive and I was always careful to feed them separately so there wouldn’t be any arguing.
Tonight, I don’t even know what they were fighting over, an errant piece of kibble maybe. All I know is that I heard vicious fighting and as I flew into the kitchen I saw Walter backed into the bathroom with Greta going after him with murder in her eyes. I got in between them and shooed Walter away. That’s when I saw the blood. LOTS of blood. Blood spattered all over the bathroom walls. Blood dripping from the toilet and smeared on the door. Big splotches of blood on the floor. At this point, I wasn’t sure who was bleeding and what body part had been torn off, but as I followed Greta out to the kitchen, she brushed against the white refrigerator and it looked like some macabre abstract painting.
I was steeling myself for the worst. I mean it was a LOT of blood. One personality trait of mine that you may not know is that I am extremely calm under pressure. I do what needs to be done at the moment and I fall apart later. This was one of those times.
Greta seemed to be oblivious to the fact that she was seeping her actual life’s blood all over creation. This was a good sign. Not the blood-seeping, but her obvious state of oblivion. She wasn’t dead and she was moving; both good things. She was headed to the couch for a snooze. Nope, don’t think so. I aborted that mission and finally corraled her back in the bathroom and looked for what had to be a gaping wound of some sort or other. I saw the steady drip, drip of the blood on the floor and looked up to find the source. Walter had bitten off the very tip of her ear and she was bleeding like she’d had major surgery!
I stemmed the flow of blood as she acted like nothing happened. Her nonchalance was a little disconcerting. It was then that I looked at her and just sobbed. Here we were getting a rescue dog to give her a good home and this was the second time in a week that she’d had an ear bite. Walter broke her and it was on my watch!
Last week when she had a puncture wound in her other ear I was furious that Walter would do such a thing! I hadn’t seen the altercation, but I could imagine what happened. I was upset that she didn’t back down and ended up with a couple of stitches. But it was even more disturbing to know that he could be dangerous as far as she was concerned.
Once I stopped my sobbing fit and had a minute to think about it, I realized I owed Walter an apology. I probably would have bitten her, too! If she had me cornered in a bathroom snarling and lunging, I wouldn’t have been gentle either! As much as I was horrified by the ear bite, it occurred to me that it could have been SO much worse. It was his warning shot and she still didn’t back away. Not good. However, I was really happy that Walter was not the aggressor. I’m sure it was over a piece of food and he probably snarled at her, but she was the one who went in for the kill. Walter was cornered and defending himself.
Now I’ve gone from sobbing to sighing. Over the last few days, sweet little Greta has shown a different side to her personality. Maybe she was a warrior princess in a previous life. Whatever the reason may be, she is a scrapper!
By the time they figure out their dominance issues she’s going to look like a junkyard dog and I’m going to be more of a basket case than I am already. At least I know that her injuries are the result of her own ill-conceived actions. I guess that makes me feel a little better. After all was said and done, and I let the two of them see each other, Walter went up to Greta and licked her face. He then went to his toy bin and brought his favorite toy to her. Knowing what I know now, I almost felt bad for him.
It is such a joy when I see them playing together, and I know they get along great most of the time. I also know they will continue to test each other’s limits until they figure out the pecking order. I now have my work cut out for me to make sure they get through this process with as little bloodshed as possible.
In the meantime, does anyone know how to get blood out of every surface known to mankind? If not, I’m going to have to start a GoFundMe account to hire one of those services that specialize in cleaning up murder scenes. This wasn’t a murder, but if blood spatter is any indication, it sure looked like one!