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Mama said there’d be days like this …

Jealousy is a 4-legged dog

POSTED: March 28, 2012 4:00 a.m.

Jealousy is one of the pettiest emotions. It destroys relationships, creates strife and fosters insecurity. It's easy to see why jealousy has been called a green-eyed monster. My jealousy monster just happens to be a beautiful silky black Border collie.

I never would have imagined the little ball of fur I rescued four years ago to be capable of such jealousy, but she is.

I thought only humans could exude this kind of emotion, but not so. Pumpkin does not allow anyone else - human or dog - to get any affection as long as she's in the room.

She will maneuver her way into the receiving end of the pat, and even stand on her hind legs to deftly wedge her way into a hug. If I even think about petting Roubaix or Venus and she suspects it, she will slither across the floor and position herself between me and the other dog, and give me a low bark. That's my warning to not even think about petting one of the others.

She even gets jealous if I am on the phone or the computer.

When Pumpkin thinks I have worked long enough or talked to someone other than her too much, she can be quite vocal. Rude even - putting her front paws in my lap so she can either gain my full attention or whoever is on the other end of the phone will know she is not happy.

I've seen dogs that had food aggression or even gender aggression - but never just a flat out jealousy.

She's not aggressive with her jealousy either, she just lets you know she will not be ignored and hey, you have two hands, one of them can be on her.

I told Mama it had to be a residual fear of not being picked at the shelter.

When I found her, her persistence on getting my attention paid off, after she had latched on to my foot under a pile of her littermates. I had picked up five others before I finally found her stuck on my shoe. I had scooped her up and immediately kissed her snout.

Maybe it was that first human kiss that gave her the knowledge that she was going home with me that reinforces her want to have all the attention.

Maybe it was being one out of a litter of 11 that makes her feel like she has to always fight for some love.

Maybe it's because she's the youngest one here and feels like she has to always vie for her position in the pack.

Or maybe it's because she's just so full of love that she wants to share it more than the others.

Why this little dog is so jealous, I will never understand.

She is one of the sweetest little dogs I have ever known. She doesn't have a mean bone in her body.

But those bones have jealousy rooted in the marrow.

Sudie Crouch is an award-winning humor columnist and certified life coach. She lives in the north Georgia mountains with her family and four insane, but fairly well behaved dogs.

 

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