Saturday, September 3, 2011

I'm feeling a little guilty

I'm feeling a little guilty for labeling my first-born Corgi "difficult."  It's one thing for me to admit here to all of you (the legions and legions of you who follow my blog!) that I myself can be difficult, but to label my sweet dog-girl Darby as difficult may have forever changed your view of her.

Truth be told, there are some difficult aspects of life with Darby.  She definitely has a hard time with other dogs.  You may remember she even spent her birthday/second reunion with her mom hiding on the upstairs landing.   Some of this goes back to her puppy-hood when she was definitely the least happy-go-lucky pup in her puppy class; she is shy by nature.  But, mostly it is a result of Glenn and me not being the kind of people who take our dogs with us everywhere.  I'm hoping we'll do that when we retire, but for now, The Darbs just isn't exposed to a lot of other dogs.  The ones she knows, like Jackie the Jack Russell who lives next door, she likes just fine.

The Darbs can be very affectionate.  But, usually only on her terms.

She loves to nuzzle and be nuzzled, but DON'T rub her back against the grain of the hair, or you might get a cranky, soft growl.  It's something we continue to work on. 

Sometimes she barks a short, clipped bark and clicks her teeth together (clicks -- NOT snaps) when she wants attention.  She rarely does that with me but often does it with Glenn (which he does not appreciate) and she did it with Erika this past weekend, too.  It seems she reserves it for people she knows.  She never does it with strangers.  It's another something we continue to work on. 
I'm difficult, but you still love me, don't you, One Who Feeds Us? 
Darby seems to need me.  She is happiest when she is in the same room with me and often wants to come in from outside to be with me, even if Glenn and Pumpkin are still outside.   Darby seems to try to maneuver herself to be in the position closest to me whenever possible.

Darby is very motivated to do things -- chase balls, JUMP, TUNNEL, do the weave polls (although she isn't great at them yet.)  She seems to enjoy doing these things,  but, she goes at it with a difficult seriousness that sometimes seems to me like it might almost negate the joy.  She is an over-achiever and has a seriously good work ethic, but, unfortunately, she can be the Chief of the Fun Police sometimes.  She makes me think of Garrison Keillor's description of Lutherans on "The Prairie Home Companion", or Puritans who I've heard described as people who were motivated by the sneaking suspicion that someone, somewhere was having fun.  She doesn't play with me the way Pumpkin does, and when Pumpkin and I do play,  the Chief of the Fun Police comes out to put a stop to it!  (Thanks to Wendy from Maine for the title "Fun Police.")  

Even for all that, I still feel a little guilty for labeling my sweet Darby as "difficult," even as I am forced to admit it is true. 

She and I are both difficult, I guess, but I think I am the worst.

While The Darbs would probably never, ever consider doing this to ME,
she very patiently allowed me to do it to her!


Builder Mama said...

Aw, see, my Rufus is very Darby-like. They would probably get along famously. I always tell people that he is more cat-like than any dog I've ever met...reserved with strangers, only wants to be loved on his terms and no one else's, and perpetually grumpy looking. He saves his smiles for me and Monkey Man and The Huz, but that's about it. I wish he loved Nick like Darby loves Pumpkin, but at this point we're just happy they can coexist without anyone being overly unhappy. My sister told me a while back that Rufus is lucky to have us, because quirky dogs aren't readily accepted by folks that want an "easy" dog. I think she's right...we get these fickle little critters because they need us as much as we need them. :-)

Taryn said...

Darby sounds like a combo of Wilson and Jimmy. Wilson is very reserved with strangers. But he is friendly with every dog out there. Jimmy is our fun police. NO ONE but he is allowed to have fun, no one! He loves all people, but not all dogs. I never know which dog he will snark at so I always have to be careful. Both my dogs were socialized ad nauseum, so even that doesn't guarantee all the quirks are gone!

Also, see my new comment on your last post.

Becky said...

Oh! the wonder of Corgis! Darby and Pumpkin together are all the things we love about them. Buddy, being Darby's sibling is a lot like her. Never leaves my side. He won't stay outside without me. Not shy though. His uncertainty is sometimes aggressiveness. We work on that a lot. And oh the barking since The Bear came. The Bear is so laid back and soft and sweet. (still puppy, we'll see.)

scotsmad said...

Darby and Kendra are kindred many similarities...though I, Daisy, am the teeth clicker.

XXXOOO Daisy, Kendra & Bella

Boo's Mom said...

Daisy! Another teeth clicker, huh? It doesn't bother me at all now because it seems like just another form of communication. In Darby's case it DEFINITELY is NOT snapping. It almost seems she is clicking her back teeth. Becky,Darby's uncertainty/shyness looks like aggressiveness, too! LOUD barking, and TEETH if the scarey thing/dog gets too close. Taryn, thank you for mentioning that your guys, for all their socialization, still have some issues. I feel sort of guilty that we don't take the dogs with us lots of places, but at this point in our lives, we don't go lots of places but work, home, restaurants, movies, etc., places that generally don't welcome dogs! We just discussed yesterday how we ought to be going to the beach to enjoy the sunset more often, but the 40 minute drive means that probably won't really happen! Besides, the sunset looks awfully pretty from our front yard and reflected on the mountains, hills and orchard behind us!

Boo's Mom said...

Buildermama, sounds like you, too, would understand my sweet Darby-girl. She is sooo earnest. Her gaze is so soulful (my sister first described it that way, and she is right.) I've read that corgis are more cantankerous than Golden Retrievers, for example, (the dogs we've had previously) because as working farm dogs, they have to be independent. They have to be willing to run out for the cows by themselves, then drove them along home to the barn and make sure that none of them stray along the way. Seems to me that a seriously serious work ethic would help a 35 pound dog when she is dealing with a bunch of 1,200 pound beasts!

Lois said...

My Pippin is Darby all over too. Glued to me, gets on ok with my other corgi and beagle rescue, but with other dogs there's a tad uncertainty on how he'll react. He clearly loves humans more than dogs. But when I correct him...well, I get those corgi eyes, so like Darby's ,and I fall in love all over again...