Thursday, April 13, 2017

A Changing of The Guard?

Many years ago when Samson was a young dog, he flipped Soldier (above) into a hole in the dog yard and injured him severely. We almost put Soldier out of his painful misery, but he proved to be a fighter. With the help of our vet, pain meds, and blogger friend Terry in Colorado, who sent the harness pictured here, Soldier fought on and lived for a couple of more years. 

Faith, who once was this little, and now weighs around 52 lbs, (and is not just the sweet Lab she appears to be) has flipped 80 lb Samson several times. 

The last time she did it, she injured him. A man came, heavens forbid, a man! Well it was the computer guy and I didn't realize a man would equal about one coyote or two dogs in her mind. So in a fit of misplaced agression, she flipped Samson and shoved him into the fence. 

Samson is so kind, he never bites her, no matter what. Fortunately, by now, he has figured out he can take refuge in the dog house, seen in the corner above. She can't get to him there, so it is working out for now.

How young he was in this picture!  I guess Errol and I were supposed to use the table, but Samson took it over and we never argued with him about it. So to my mind, it has always been Samson's table. The table is a place from where he can see better, and, perhaps, feel more secure. 

Well, not only did Samson get injured, he also became ill at the beginning of March. So for a while, he couldn't easily get up on the table.

And, as it does in nature, the instinct to take over, to become dominant kicked in; Faith saw her opportunity and took it. 

Not only is she on the table, she's bringing her balls and toys out and placing them on the table as well. And I have been so upset! I don't like this at all. As soon as Samson got better, I encouraged him to get up on the table again. And he has. No fights have taken place over the table, but I sense a changing of the guard. 

She's up there so much more than she used to be and he, sweet dog that he is, lets her have it. He doesn't seem to mind, the same way he didn't mind when she came here and promptly stole every last toy, every bone he used to chew on, even Gracie 2, the toy dog he loved so, she chewed her up too. Samson took it all in stride. He's probably wiser than I because I am a bit upset about it all. A changing of the guard. She will be three in a few weeks, he will be eight in July.


  1. Good Morning, Inger! Oh, my! Poor Samson! I can see why you're upset, we don't like when the kids misbehave. Sigh ... As I read your post, I thought about Samson and him going to be 8 in July. I thought he was the same age as Jill. Turned on the calculator and by gum (!) Jill is going to be 8 too! Here I was thinking she would be 7. Sigh ... I'm getting old myself!

    1. Remembering Soldier and sweet Angel ... how time does fly. I remember, I think, when you fell over Soldier in the dark and got hurt. I think you were going to bed. Sigh, yes there has been several changes of the guard. Hugs.

  2. I worry about the same things with d'Arcy and Guinness. Mostly that d'Arcy will get hurt by youthful exuberance. But the dogs seem to have a better understanding of it then we do so maybe we shouldn't worry as much.

  3. let them work it out, Samson doesn't care, so why should you... Jake came into the house with already two dogs, he took over as the alpha, alpha can be male or female. Faith is alpha.. just like my mother was laid back and let daddy be the king of the house and did not care, Samson is fine with it. all dogs are that way. one is in charge and you are right, changing of the guard. now getting hurt is something you can worry about, but it seems like S has figured out how to stop that to...

  4. It would be nice for Samson to have his own table to climb on poor doggie. Maybe he's relieved that he doesn't have to defend and protect anymore and is content to just be. I bet he's seen it all and just wants a quiet life. Having his toys destroyed and getting hurt is certainly no fun at all, poor Samson.

    Hugs, Julia

  5. Hello Inger,
    Did you know that I miss Soldier? He was adorable! He looks like so much with the dog of my daughter Sofia.
    I am glad that you encouraged Samson to get up on the table again and he has!
    Love always seeing photos of your dear friends Samson and Faith too.

  6. In the animal world, the fittest survive due to natural instinct. We as humans expect them to have our human considerations, but they don't. I'm like you though, I think animals can learn what they can and cannot do when the boss aka the human deems it so. Be strong and keep Faith in her place or you might regret it later. I wouldn't like that misplaced aggression, male or female.

  7. Aww, so sorry Samson has lost his position. "Pack leader" is inborn and evidently Faith is full of that strength. As long as Samson is submissive there shouldn't be a problem but sometimes we can make the situation worse. This is a good link about the pitfalls to avoid.
    Good luck.

  8. I love all your doggies!!

  9. Hi Inger, it seems there is always one that is leader of the pack, and like you said here a changing of the guard, I suppose as long as Samson doesn't mind then it is meant to be. Good looking animals by the way.

  10. I guess they'll work it out so that they have peace with each other. Enjoy your evening sweet friend. Hugs, Diane

  11. Hi Inger - it's lovely to see the pictures and to read their lives match ours in some ways ... Faith will rule I guess ... not much you or Samson can do about it - 'cept roll over and just enjoy their company! Have a peaceful weekend ... cheers Hilary

    PS - thanks for dropping by the A-Z occasionally - lovely to see your comments ...

  12. I'm so happy Samson has recovered, I know Faith didn't mean to hurt him. It's funny how animals tend to become (dominant or submissive) over time like that.

  13. Samson is a most beautiful dog and with his sweet nature I think I would love him too. I can't believe how tiny Faith was in the first picture of her.... my goodness! I always suspect dogs have little concept of relative size, I have seen chihuahuas square up to St. Bernards! :) I hope you have a pleasant and peaceful Easter.

  14. Your dogs are beautiful, Samson looks like a fluffy white cloud. A changing of the guard is happening. Wolf packs do that too, top wolf is always challenged. I learn about that from International Wolf Center, they have a captive pack at the center.

  15. Faith was so very small when you first got her. Interesting to see how the dogs react to each other.

  16. Your observations about the changing of the guard are bittersweet. It's so interesting to read about Samson's patience with the situation. I've only had one dog at a time, but as our dear dog approaches 10 years old I note how she is calmer and less anxious about changes and distractions that only recently made her quite neurotic. Your photos of the dogs are really charming. Each has such personality, Inger, and I know they must be wonderful company. I hope Samson can enjoy his "top dog" position on that nice table for a lot longer!

  17. Samson is a sweetheart. Look at that face in his close-up. What a gentle soul!

  18. Samson has always seemed a gentle giant. It grieves me to know that he is handing on the keys to Faith.


Thanks for leaving a comment.. ~~ Inger


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