Friday, February 10, 2006

Food fight

Yesterday when I got home, I went up to change clothes. I heard Sam rustling around in the kitchen and yelled at him. He, of course, ignored me. He swiped half a package of saltines off the counter, then refused to share with Oreo. Food is the one thing they can get really fiesty about (as opposed to just baring their teeth at each other when one lies down on top of the other). They fought. Lots of growling and snapping as I was flying down the stairs to separate the combatants. As soon as I got them apart, they both went after the cracker crumbs. (And Sam's allergic to wheat.) I got them both muzzled to keep them from fighting as well as to prevent them from "rewarding" themselves with more crackers. I checked both dogs over for blood (hard to see on Oreo), found nothing, then cleaned up the crackers. But when I took off Sam's muzzle, I found where he'd been hurt: on the side of his mouth, back by the corner, where there's a hole that goes completely through from outside to the inside of his mouth. Or does it? The hole is bigger on the inside of his mouth than on the outside, which implies that the boy genius bit himself...all the way through. Anyway, it didn't warrant any stitches. It was a bit puffy this morning, but the swelling had gone down by tonight, and he hasn't seemed bothered by it. (For an antiseptic cleaner, I've used mouthwash on a cotton ball.)

And tonight I found where Sam got Oreo: one small nip on her ear. Dogs' ears have a little flap of skin on one edge, and Sam got that--didn't even puncture it all the way through, let alone rip it. [Correction: The little ear flap is torn--but she doesn't seem to mind unless I mess with it.] (Sam is missing the tip of one ear--an injury he had when he came to me.) This is the second time he's drawn blood from her; once before, she scared him so bad he nipped her to get away--and it wound up needing six stitches. I'm just glad that this incident hasn't required visits to the vet. (Last time, it was a Friday night fight, and I had to take Oreo to the emergency room.)

Anyway, neither dog seems to bear a grudge. And neither dog thought it was a big deal at the time, since they both were more interested in finding more cracker crumbs than in licking their wounds. (Sam gets off better there: Oreo can't reach her wound to lick it.) But they certainly got my heart-rate up. Tonight, I made Oreo go upstairs with me while I went to change clothes. And Sam doesn't know where the rest of the saltines are hidden.

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