Trouble In Paradise

Well, here we are, about to camp in the Jemez Mountains in New Mexico when I lose faith. For the first time, the boys fight. Actually it was Oliver who fought. Harold just screamed in surprise and pain. I screamed. I didn’t hold my calm and assertive presence as Cesar Milan tells us to, no, I screamed and pounded my fist on Oliver’s thick skull to no avail. Finally Harold tore himself free, and that was exactly what he did, the ear shows where the teeth did not let go. Harold hid in the truck. I yelled at Oliver and Rosie ran around unsure what to do. 

How am I meant to trust all three in the 4Runner now? How do we all sleep in there together like we have? 


Harold, my number one child, is seven this spring, a big happy furry sensitive collie and akita mix. He’s a total mama’s boy. 

Rosie, the middle child, is three. She’s mostly white with brown patches on her ear and bum. She’s the smallest at 45#s, a mix of retriever, pittie and akita we think. 

Oliver, the three year old, is apparently coming into his own, the little blighter. Tall and rangy, he’s a long distance runner, eating six cups of food a day and still showing ribs after a good run in the morning. He reminds us of a minature Great Dane, all legs and hound-dog eyes. 

I’m stuck as to what to do. It’s been almost a week since the fight and Harold is now scared of Ollie who seems oblivious of any changes, wagging and submitting to Harry, wriggling like he used to. I’ve kept him on a leash much more than before but since I’ve been home for the week with laryngitis it’s not our usual routine. I’ve not left them for more than a few hours, none of the ten hour days three times a week when I work in town 45 minutes away. I’d usually leave them in the yard up here in the mountains, but now, do I leave them all together and hope for the best? It’s not like there are separate rooms in my little adobe cabin. Just a living/bed/office room that’s 18×18 and a kitchen off the east that is 8×18 at most. 

The other dilemna like I mentioned is the upcoming trip, one of many. This weekend to the Jemez for a wedding. Then the Overland Expo in Arizona, camping along the way on the blue highways in NM and AZ, finding lakes and mountains and little else. Then off we go to Colorado with my brother and his girlfriend visiting from England. 

Risk Management was never a strong point of mine. I’ll have to learn fast though. I have a week. 


4 thoughts on “Trouble In Paradise

  1. Well i guess Oliver is the new one in the family… How long have you had him… i know Harry and Rosie are you babies! Thought about maybe seeing if there is another family that might take him,, Maybe theres a better match? i don’t know, its not easy,.. but if Oliver doesn’t get along that well with Harry?!@#$ Well I’d be afraid he would strike again… who knows… 🙂 You’ll figure it out!!!
    Connie 🙂


    1. We’re working on it! But yes, Harry in number one child. From what I read, I need to reestablish myself as top dog in the family and get on Ollie for any transgressions. He’s got away with a lot because he looks so dopey. Sigh. Thanks Connie for the love!


  2. Not a dog expert here but my strong feeling is that the fight might have been inevitable and won’t necessarily be repeated. Inevitable in order for one of your dogs to reassert or reset the pack hierarchy. Once they get that worked out and each dog knows where they stand, things usually calm down. Of course, it can be scary and they certainly can hurt each other but sometimes these things have to turn their course. If the fights continue, then obviously, you’ve got a real problem. I’ve had success just letting them get through their fights, only breaking them up when I felt that some real damage was being done. Maybe I’ve just been lucky.


    1. Thanks Mike. You’re not the only one to support that its just a shift in dynamics. Harold got his ear torn and four puncture wounds so yes, it scared me. I’m now just trying to keep their energy low key, less rambunctiousness with the boys together, and hoping for the best. Did yours ever fight again or was it just scuffles after one big fight? Thanks again, s


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