Dog Tales

Ryan Wilson, with Leonard (left) and Chester (right) will be part of a comedy act to take place the evening of Piotique Saturday.                    (Photo by Isaac Wilson)

Old Chester dog has never been one to insist on affection, but lately I can’t get rid of him.

Granted, the old dog was my best buddy even before I got two more best buddies, but ever since we expanded our family. He’s pretty much taken a step back and let the other two dogs hog all of the attention.

He’d spend most days snoozing on his favorite spot on the love seat — which no one but him was allowed on. I’d scratch him behind the ears every now  and then to make sure he was good, but that’s all the affection he needed.

But things changed when the boxer Val challenged him  for  dominance and won a fight over a bowl of dog food. He started coming to me for protection, reassurance, affection. I’d have to be around when they were fed to make sure he’d get something to eat. He’d steal my spot on the couch, jump on my lap when the Shih Tzu wasn’t already there and be right at my side about as much as the cowardly Leonard.

And at night, he’d settle in the middle of the bed or top of the pillow and refuse to move when I went to bed. Even using him as a pillow couldn’t convince him to move out of the way.

At first I thought he was doing all of this because he’s afraid of Val. I realized what was really happening one day, when he growled at Val after she tried to jump on the couch while he was laying right by my side. He isn’t afraid of her, he’s teaming up with me.

He was telling me, the only way we’re going to keep the crazy female from taking over the house is by sticking together. He’s really a good dog.

Let’s be clear -- since Val has become the dominant dog, she’s become a real pain in the neck. She hoards bones and chew toys, fights off the other dogs to have Isaac’s spot on the couch when he isn’t around, and generally, speaking, made life a nightmare for the other two dogs. She even walks around the house like she owns the place.

Chester knows that when it comes to keeping a handle on the ornery boxer, I need all the help I can get.