Monday, July 15, 2013

Maqz vs. Penny

Background: my brother Sean is trying to sell his condo in Alexandria. Whenever prospective buyers come, everyone needs to be out of the house, including the dog. For that reason, Maqz the chihuahua and I had to go this morning, and Sean proposed that I drop Maqz off at my other brother David's place, since I couldn't drive around all day with Maqz in the car. Sean, who was away in New York City, said he would pick Maqz up a few hours later, once he had gotten back to northern Virginia. (David also lives in Alexandria, not far from where our parents used to live.)

I arrived around 11:30AM at David's place, but David's wife Patricia and their dog Penny were out at the local dog park to allow Penny to have a good, tiring run around the field. Maqz, glad to be out of my freezing car (I love my A/C), trotted into David's place unchallenged, and immediately tried to take over by assuming a dominant position on top of David's living room couch. David said that Penny wasn't allowed on any of the furniture, so every time Maqz tried to hop on the couch, I shooed him away. Maqz leaped off the furniture, growling, but would often try getting back onto his perch. He can be a stubborn little bastard.

Penny finally came in with Patricia in tow, and Maqz immediately started yapping at her. Penny halfheartedly barked in reply, tail wagging, perhaps not noting how serious Maqz was in staking out his territory. Maqz is a much older dog than Penny; he's a gray-muzzled seven or eight years old, while Penny, at around six months old, is still a pup learning the ropes. Penny's problem is that she's growing so fast: she's already pretty large, just shy of forty pounds (18.2kg, 2.86 stone). Maqz is tiny by comparison, and chihuahuas are a naturally nervous, high-strung breed. Penny is the incarnation of all of Maqz's canine insecurities.

Things quieted down after a few minutes. Penny playfully chased Maqz around and around a living room table; I regretted not getting video of that activity. Penny also spent a minute leaning against my leg; she had done that when she visited me at my place in Appalachia. Like most dogs, she has a hierarchical instinct for who among the humans is the eldest. By the time I left David's place to go tutor in Fairfax, Penny and Maqz were no longer squabbling or play-fighting, but I have no idea whether the détente held after I left. (Ah—David just texted to say that all was peaceful.)

Sean's arrival back from New York was delayed by awful traffic; he picked Maqz up around 7:40PM instead of the anticipated 4PM. Thus ended the Maqz and Penny Show. Here's hoping that, as Maqz and Penny continue to interact, they'll eventually get used to each other. They are, after all, in-laws.


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