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  • Kristin Ramey

Girl Dogs

Alright folks, I'm gonna lay it out there. For DECADES now, I have mostly had male dogs and I have always felt that I bond better with male dogs, and that they are way more obedient and don't challenge my authority. I had one female dog a LONG time ago. I married Larry and he had a female dog. Somewhere out there, I adopted Nina and had her for a year.

Let me back it up. I started with Ditka - a male beagle/rottweiler mix. I adopted Hobbes, my heart dog, and he was an Akita mix. He was super stubborn, but those boys got along with each other, they loved me and they were stupid and obedient. I started fostering pups, and it was a mix. My first was Luna, a dachsund mix. I had her for just a short time. There was Anna Banana, Sedona and Bitsy. Weird. Most of my fosters were actually male dogs. Bitsy was the toughest - a husky that had had puppies. I didn't have the puppies, but she was very territorial and kept Ditka and Hobbes at bay. She also claimed my papasan chair as her own.

Then came Ally cat. The 3 legged husky mix that I ended up adopting. She was adorbs. A big white fluff ball - do you think I like those kind of dogs?

She was so amazing when she first showed up. She played with Hobbes, which he loved. And that meant Hobbes was not bugging Ditka to play, which Ditka loved. She resource guarded her food, so she got fed in her crate. Prior to her arrival, my boys were free fed. But that had to stop.

Eventually, she started resource guarding ME. We would all sit on the couch to watch TV, but she had to be touching me, or she'd push the boys out of the way. We made it work, but over time her resource guarding of me started fights. Hobbes and Ditka would defend themselves, but they didn't want to fight. So often pulling her off and getting her into her crate would stop it. But it got worse over time. It's really hard to manage a resource guarding situation when the resource was ME. I can manage food situations and high value treat situations, but I can't remove myself from a situation. Look at that face though!

It BROKE my heart, but I rehomed her. I still feel guilty to this day. At the time, I lived in a small house with a postage stamp sized yard. I found her a family with no kids (she wasn't good with kids) and a half acre yard and a stay at home wife who would dote all over her. I hope she had a wonderful life.

Then Larry came along with Grish and Athena. Athena was a German Shepherd who had been severely neglected and abused and as such had some long term emotional issues. She was ATTACHED to Larry. She put up with me. When Larry travelled, she would deal with my presence, but when he came home, she would try to crawl under his skin. Joking, but she couldn't get close enough to him. Obedient and smart, her and I never had the kind of bond I had with my boy dogs. She would sometimes challenge me, not hard, but just enough. I loved her like I love all dogs, but the bond was not there.

We said goodbye to Athena, Larry moved to New York and I made room for Nina.

Smart, and weird. This dog also seemed to resource guard me, and she would fight with Moose all the time. I started to put her food bowl down last, and the fighting stopped. She was my shadow. But she wouldn't come out in the pasture. So while I did chores, she would pace the back yard and whine. None of my boy dogs were ever that weird. Nina was weird.

Prior to Nina, I had my druthers that me and male dogs got along better. I swore they were kinda dumb, and dumb meant obedient. Nina sealed the deal - I'd take a clueless, devoted male dog over a smart female that challenged my authority. So I stuck with boys. Ditka, Hobbes, Grish, Atlas, Goliath, Moose, Hercules, Loki, Odin, Seamus. Yeah the list goes on.

Then Larry gets SKADI. LORD this dog is just the hardest dog we have ever owned. UGH. She's mental, and I won't go on forever here, but she is a dog that requires management. She exhausts me. (Yes, I still love her but...)

Then along came Banshee and Dwight. This is just my really really really long way of saying that Banshee is challenging my perceptions of girl dogs. Dwight is EXACTLY what I love about boy dogs. Dumb, obedient and goofy. I LOVE HIM.

Banshee though... she's smart, she thinks really hard and she knows shat she wants. She has a habit of booping me with her nose when she wants something. She has decided she LOVES running with me, and expects it daily AND gets mad if I don't take her. Larry takes her sometimes too. She also act like if she sits, she'll get a treat. And if I don't give her a treat, she can SIT HARDER and maybe she'll get one. So she SITS HARDER and STARES HARDER and really hopes it will work. If I AM handing out treats, it works. Just look at this picture. Big silly Dwight and Banshee squinting her eyes and thinking REALLY HARD.

She has really made a spot in our house. Seamus lets her sleep in his special chair! She has a bed next to my bed where she often sleeps, sometimes she sleeps on the bed with me, too. She has amazing maternal instincts and she likes to watch over the baby lambs that come in the house when it's cold.

Seriously, this is just a really long post to say that after DECADES of thinking that me and boy dogs get along better - Banshee is telling me that maybe, just maybe, it was never the right girl dog. (We still have 4 boy dogs, and just 2 girl dogs - and I do love them all...)

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