The heart of the problem
Mum has been trying to understand the heart of the problem of the barking level, which has increased. It’s all rather simple, and if she’d asked I could have saved her a lot of time. When we were in our old house there were too many stairs for Aristotle and Shadow to be with us all the time. Aristotle has missed Mum desperately over the summer and had time to think. Now that we are all together, he has got it into his head that he would like a shot at being top dog and having the right to be closest to Mum at all times. Of course, that in itself makes me sad as Mum and I have a very special relationship.
Like mother like son
The real problem is that Aristotle is in some ways like his mother. He is not a natural leader and as with Shadow when he tries to lay the law down the only way he knows to do it is to be mean. Because he was getting a bit big for his boots he was being mean to me. I am not a fighter. When I’m being top dog, I have never felt the need to impose my wishes by force. I share what I have, I think of others in my pack and I try to make sure everyone is all right. Aristotle’s is an altogether different approach.
Every cloud has a silver lining
Now that Mum has realised what is happening, she is working with me to reinforce my position and ensure that Aristotle realises he doesn’t need to take a leadership role. On the upside, it meant I got to sleep on the bed and Mum calls me into the office for a cuddle before I graciously make space for Aristotle to lie down near to her. He’s still getting the part of it he really wanted, but without the need to fight to get it. The upshot is that we were rather quieter. Mum says we have a way to go, but at least it’s a start.