(Cedar here – I wrote a funny metaphor story today over at the Mad Genius Club in which said jealous dog plays a part. You may enjoy it.)
Written by Sanford Begley
My stepchildren are in for a visit this summer, well number Daughter units 2 and 3 and Son unit 1. Their mother is making them all their favorites and generally being happy to have the time with them. I’m sort of staying out of the way and being the old fashioned type of Father unit, step. This means that while I spend some time with them I mostly just remind them of house rules and let them work things out for themselves.
DU2 and DU3 are seriously into manga and fandom right now. SU1 is really into being noise with dirt on it. So while the girls are doing lots of electronic diving into the various fanfics and fangroups the boy is running flat out playing with the dog and everything else he can lay his hands on. This seems to be making the kids happy. The dog on the other hand is worried.
Part of it is that I’m not giving her a lot of treats. You see, she is very bonded to me and SU1 is trying to bribe her love away from me. This means that he gives her treats every time he can find one. Since a dog shouldn’t dine strictly on dog treats I’ve cut back. I have given her one treat since they’ve been here. She is wondering if she is out of favor.
This has actually resulted in her being even less responsive to SU1. If I’m not in the room with her she wants in the room with me. If she is in the room with me she doesn’t want to get out of touch range. This makes it a little difficult for SU1 to get her to play. She will actually play happily with him if I’m gone or they are outside and I’m in. That doesn’t happen often because she hates the separation.
It doesn’t help that, with the kids here, we keep the bedroom door closed at night. If she is in the room with us she feels somewhat trapped, if not in the room she feels left out. Somehow that isn’t enough reason to keep the door open. I don’t wear pajamas and with the heat,neither does the wife. A little privacy is therefore a good thing for the kids, and keeps them from laughing or retching at the old folks.
So on the one hand we have a boy who is dog crazy, and on the other hand we have a dog that is a little crazy. His constant efforts to be near her have the side effect of putting him near me. Which makes her worry that he will take her spot as the most important member of the pack after the alpha female. So she gets closer to me. While she understands that he is pack and she will accept him she doesn’t want to lose place. This results in me having a fifty pound foot warmer in July with no AC.
Oddly enough she will miss him and the girls when they go home. She has been jealous at every visit and missed them when they were gone, every time. Part of this will be because by the time they leave she will have reassured herself that I still love her. The rest is because she is a loving girl and loves the kids too. At least the feeling is mutual. Though DU2 was worried at first. She wasn’t sure the dog would know her, having had less time with her than the other children. Of course after I reminded her of “giving” the dog a glass of milk she realized her fears were groundless.
So I’m going to spend a few weeks inundated by kids and dog, life is pretty good, if you don’t let jealousy get in the way.