When your Dog Wants to Kill your Friend’s Dog

I invited my friend to my beach house, and she asked to bring her twelve-pound rescue dog. I was hesitant to answer. I wondered how it would work out with my two bigger dogs. Pepper, a mellow lab mix, would be fine. The wild card was Daisy, the twenty-pound Jack Russell terrier.

Daisy is a twice-given-back rescue dog. She is hyper-focused on the rats that live under my bike shed. She never fully relaxes, always holding her body in tight tension. Would she be okay to accept the Pom-Chee for a couple of days?

The short answer is no, she would not.

The ride down started out with the two of us plus our three dogs and lots of barking. Oreo Cookie was stressed out on his owner Elizabeth’s lap in the passenger seat. Pepper calmed down after being bribed with treats. Daisy pulled at her tether the whole ride down. But once the two smaller dogs’ noses touched, it looked like our worries might have been for naught.


When we entered the yard down in Monterey County, Oreo started barking and Daisy, newly released from her tether, flew to Oreo Cookie, got him by the neck (so my friend says) and started to shake him. All I saw and heard was chaos, with my eyes focused on grabbing the purple harness on my dog. My friend got it first and pulled Daisy away from her dog, but Daisy had somehow grabbed his ear. At any rate, we pulled the dogs apart, looked at each other, and went, WTF?

Later we discovered red on Oreo’s underside where Daisy must have stepped on him in the melee.

The rest of the visit involved keeping the two dogs out of each other’s site lines. It was a hilarious effort, Elizabeth showing me her thrift store purchases as she tried them on, she inside the back bedroom, me in the yard looking through the window. We couldn’t sit outside together, lest our dogs see one another and the fracas start anew.

Everywhere we went, Oreo had to come with us. Elizabeth had a dog sling to carry him in when in the Carmel shops and restaurant, his black and white mop head sticking out, with older ladies ooh-ing an d awh-ing over his cuteness.

Back home Daisy didn’t think he was cute. She saw a rat with better fur.   Pepper, being her laidback self, ran back and forth between Elizabeth and me while the other two dogs remained secured in their prospective corners.

“Good girl, Pepper!” I would say when she came over to my chair where Daisy was restricted for the night.

“Good girl, Pepper!” Elizabeth would say when Pepper rounded the corner to the other room, where she sat holding Oreo. We were drinking tea and watching the same TV, but in separate rooms. As long as the dogs couldn’t see one another, no barking.

My arms grew tired holding back Daisy’s leash, and I put her in the yard. I shut the back door, but she somehow got it to pop open by hurling her body against it.

“Incoming!” I yelled to Elizabeth while I scrambled to grab the leash as Daisy plowed through a second closed door from the yard.

Elizabeth tightened her hold on Oreo, who was safely nestled on her lap. I got control of Daisy yet again.

When we almost passed one another in the narrow hallway, Elizabeth on her way to the bathroom, me on the way to the kitchen, we called out a plan so as not to have another encounter.

“I’ll go this way through the dining room,” I said.

“I’ll go this way through the front room,” Elizabeth said.

We avoided the hallway confrontation, laughing as we steered prey from predator (an uncomfortable funny).

Daisy, my twice-given-back rescue dog, trying to eat Elizabeth’s twice-given-back rescue dog for thirty-six hours.

It has been Issue City these past three days.

The humans need a rest.


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