I have noticed an interesting (and slightly worrisome) development in the lives of my dogs recently. Zoe, my main dog is deferring to Alice, my emergency back-up dog and this bothers me. When Alice first arrived in our household she was so cute and little and Zoe just...absolutely hated her. Alice is stubborn and headstrong and never learns, or rather doesn't care to learn. Zoe had no problem putting her in her place. I was proud of her. Zoe is afraid of everything (including her new water bowl. You know, the kind that look like those office water coolers? Zoe drinks a lot of water so I bought her this water cooler type bowl to keep from having to fill it up every five seconds. The first time Zoe drank out of it, it bubbled and now she's terrified of it) but when it came to Alice, she was queen. Any time Alice challenged her, Zoe would beat her ass and then life would resume and Alice would stay out of her way for a few weeks.
When I would play with Alice, Zoe would intervene by pushing Alice out of the way. Now, Zoe kind of lingers in the corner with a dejected, broken-hearted look on her face, whimpering pitifully until I call her over. Even then she hesitates. It makes me a little sad. Alice couldn't be happier with the current situation.
I didn't actually notice anything until this morning (afternoon) when Alice woke me up by standing on my face. After some yelling and convulsing, I noticed that Zoe was not on the bed. She wasn't even in the room. So, I called her. She comes into the room, looking anxious and excited as though summoned by God. What happened next can only be described as some sort of doggie King of the Hill game wherein the bed was the hill and I was simply part of the terrain. Zoe would approach the left side of the bed and Alice would pounce (not "go". Alice never simply "goes" anywhere) to that side of the bed and stand right at the edge, daring Zoe to try and advance further. Zoe is kind of stupid, but she's bright enough to understand that there is another side to the bed. So, she walks around to the other side (which would be the side I'm laying on) and Alice would pounce on that side of the bed (or more accurately, on me). This goes on for a several minutes until Zoe entreats me for intervention via pitiful whimpering at which point I shoo Alice off the bed and Zoe creeps over to me and lays down for some consolation and snuggles.
So, there is a shift of power in my household right now. Out with the old, in with the new I guess. Poor Zoe. I wonder if getting a cat would put things in perspective for Alice...