Posted January 16, 2013 11:15 am

Doggie Pecking Order

Christmas 2012


Poor Harrie.  He may be my biggest dog, but he’s also my most easy going and tender hearted dog.  He takes everything in stride.  He watches over Grady and Mayrose.  They require more attention than Harrie does.  He is a perfect middle pup.


Every night, the dogs and I get on the floor and play with their toys.  Harrie joins in with his favorite orange toy, but doesn’t mind when Mayrose brings me her tennis ball for the thousandth time. Sometimes, I turn around and Harrie has left the play area and resigned himself to the sofa where he can watch all of the action.  The first time that I recognized this, it broke my heart.  But now I realize that Harrie has Middle Pup Syndrome (MPS).


Because Mayrose is a puppy, she has a TON of energy.  She is the baby in our group.  She is the cutest little thing and I want to hug and squeeze and love on her all of the time.  She runs, she leaps, she chases, she barks and sometimes she still has a poop accident on the floor.  She goes ninety to nothing every waking moment. I let her get away with a lot, which I understand is typical parenting for the baby in the family.  She has Baby In The Family Syndrome (BITFS).  As she is zooming past Harrie, he watches, sighs, and looks at me with those big brown eyes.  He remembers quieter days, when life was not so hurried.


Despite Grady’s small stature, he joined the family first.  Harrie might actually be older than Grady, but again, Grady was first on the scene. Grady is fearless yet sweet.  He is the first to bark at a stranger, and the quickest to lovingly crawl into your lap, even if he doesn’t really know you well.  Grady can take care of himself and he is a leader, just as a first dog should be. He is a little intimidated by Mayrose and therefore he is continually vying for my attention. He wants me to hold him and reassure him that he is still important to me.  He is used to being ‘large and in charge’ but Mayrose has put a damper on that.  He snaps at Mayrose from time to time, putting her in her place.  He is still the boss. He has First Dog Syndrome (FDS).


And then, again, there is Harrie.  My sweet, sweet boy.  He doesn’t ask for much.  He seems to blend in with whatever situation is at hand.  If I go, he goes.  If I stay, he stays.  If it’s play time, he plays.  He is a very easygoing dog and sometimes gets a bit overlooked. He will gently nudge my hand for attention and is ok with not getting an immediate response. He might wander off and try again later.  Yes, he has MPS.  


It doesn’t seem to bother Harrie that he is a middle dog.  He is the biggest of my babies, and sometimes my biggest baby.  I often make special mother-son time just for him.  I think he enjoys and appreciates our one on one moments.  Hopefully, maybe, it makes up for the times when the other two have occupied my mind, energy and time.  Will that cure his MPS?  I doubt it.  He carries his diagnosis well.  Like everything else in his world he takes this syndrome in stride.


I am so blessed.  I could not ask for better dogs.  First, second or third.   They are all number one in my heart.


Do you have a dog with MPS?  Or First Dog Syndrome (FDS)?  Or Baby In The Family Syndrome (BITFS)?  Tell me about it.


Until next time, wag on, Augusta!