An incredibly interesting thing is going on here at my house, between Duke and Mack. There seems to be an attempt to usurp the alpha male which I find fascinating, because I would have thought the fight would have been taking place between Kohl and Duke. The two males who will be left behind in the pack once Mack goes. But, I’m surprised to witness that the actual challenge for alpha is Duke going after Mack. Truthfully, I don’t know a thing about the pack mentality, other than when the alpha begins to show signs of illness, or weakness, the other top males tend to fight one another for the leader role. Or at least that’s what I remember from Mutual Omaha’s Wild Kingdom, and all the cat prides they followed.
So what is going on here with my aging, old guy Mack being pushed around, and in some cases attacked by Duke? It’s getting so bad that last night I literally had to jowl pinch Duke into submission, which wasn’t easy, since after he attacked Mack over a pile of kibble Mack had located on the floor, he lunged at me when I stepped in to push him off of the food, and Mack. His respect, and what little obedience he did hold in his tiny little body are all going out the window.
Even though, as you all know from reading my blog that Duke is our “difficult” dog child, this escalated, and more frequent bad behavior is not normal for him. Keeping in mind that he’s the one that gets pissed off, and pees wherever he feels like, usually on the most expensive thing he can cock his leg against, and listens at his leisure, this new attitude of his is still unusual, and upsetting. In one day, yesterday, he managed to have four fights, two with Mack and two with me. It is becoming unnerving as I get ready to leave in a week, for a week. I just wonder what he will do to his older, ailing alpha male while I’m away? And what amount of dog urine will Dominique, and our dog sitter have to clean up over the course of seven days?
A part of me feels sorry for him, wondering if he’s in pain with his little torn ACL and therefore acting out due to discomfort. I don’t know about you, but sometimes when I’m in pain, I’m a crabby bitch. Just feeling uncomfortable in my body and unable to do anything about it causes me to be mean to anybody who crosses my path. I would buy this thinking, but apparently he has little to no pain at this point, which is what all three of the vets I’ve discussed the delay of his surgery with, have told me. They say the initial injury would have been painful, which I can vouch for. I recall him panting and unable to sit, or lie down comfortably for the first two days, but then it was as if nothing was even wrong with him, to the point where keeping him calm, and not running all over the property like a madman has proven quite difficult. So I can’t give him that get out of jail free card, and if it was pain related then why are his attacks only against Mack?
It truly makes me go “hmmm.” Poor Mack can rarely eat in silence anymore without Duke sliding up to the food dish, where he literally pushes Mack off the food. Our old guy, slowly backs away from the bowl, and cowers in the kitchen, watching as Duke, who, most often doesn’t even eat the food. He simply lies down in front of it. That’s it; while poor sweet Mack sits shaking in fright. And don’t suggest I close off the food area so only Mack can go in and eat, because the truth is Duke is a crafty little shit, and doesn’t pull this every single time Mack goes to the bowl. There is no rhyme or reason to Duke’s oppression of his alpha. So when it happens I handle it, then look at Mack and wonder why doesn’t he assert himself? Why does he allow this to happen to him? I mean Kohl knows that he still is not to fuck with his alpha, he wouldn’t dream of it. In fact, Kohl is the exact opposite of Duke and would lay down his life to protect Mack, as was witnessed by the damage he caused to the two dogs on the walk who went after Mack back in the summer. It’s so confusing to me, on one hand I have a young male, who you would think was chomping at the bit to be alpha, throwing down his life to guard and protect him, and then another middle age male ready to take the throat out of his aging pack leader for his own gain? It is bizarre to me. Even when no food is involved, Duke attempts to cause Mack to fall. As you know, the DM that Mack has is causing his back legs to slowly give out on him, so standing for any length of time is proving more and more difficult. And instinctively Duke seems to know this, as he will enter a room where Mack is and move toward him, intentionally walk into him, knocking him off balance. Mack sensing that this is now becoming a pattern, will growl as Duke approaches him, warning him to think twice. Which sadly these days doesn’t even deter Duke, and then Kohl steps in. Duke heads toward Mack, Mack growls, Kohl springs to Mack’s aid placing his body between Mack and Duke, ensuring that Duke cannot knock Mack over without getting through him first.
If it wasn’t so upsetting to witness this cruelty against my oldest male, I would say it is all quite fascinating to watch. But sadly, it does break my heart that Duke doesn’t seem to have the same respect for Mack that Kohl has. Which causes me to draw this parallel between man, and beast. When I look at it that way it sort of makes me think that this is quite similar to what we’ve just witnessed in the world of politics. Ass Pimple, middle aged inferior male, attempting to get Obama, alpha male, impeached for not being a “born American”, for most of his presidency. Mean while young, virile American males the country over, voted, campaigned, and stood behind Obama and honored his Presidency. The weaker male knows not how to bide his time and take his rightful place at the top honestly, so instead he uses dirty, unfair tactics to “win” as Duke is attempting to do here, within his own pack.
Interesting. Very, very interesting. I guess the animal kingdom isn’t all that different from mankind after all.