Breaking Brotherly Bonds

Rocky and Blaze, bonded brothers

Blaze and Rocky are bonded siblings: two of 6 puppies that were surrendered with their mother to Animal Control.  The others were all taken away as they were adopted, leaving just these two, clinging to each other for moral support in a scary environment.

When I pulled them from Newport Animal Control, Blaze (the bigger one) tended to cower behind his brother, who would bark fiercely at anyone who stopped at their kennel door.  They were so unruly they had to be carried out to my truck because they would NOT walk on a leash.

Since coming to Piney Mountain Foster they have remained quite close, but not so fearful.  They’d still sleep in a pile, and they love to play together in our big yard.  But Rocky has been nowhere near as protective, and Blaze has started to develop a will of his own.

For example, The wind brought down a good sized Y shaped stick from one of the trees.  Blaze found it and declared it his most favorite thing in the world.  He’d run around waving it, and lie in the grass gently chewing on it.  Rocky came over and grabbed hold of it, intending to take it away.  Blaze was having none of that!  They growled at each other threateningly and had a tug-of-war.  Blaze is a quiet fellow, Rocky tends to yap.  So Blaze waited until Rocky yapped at his brother to demand the stick and Blaze jerked it from Rocky’s mouth and ran off with it.  I’m sure he was laughing!  He’s quiet, but he’s not dumb.

After that Rocky will chase Blaze, and may have a short tug fest, but he doesn’t get serious about taking the stick from his brother.

My greatest concern was that Rocky would hog all the food.  I tried feeding them in separate bowls but that didn’t work because Rocky would run back and forth between the two, eating from both.  So I went to one big bowl and found that Rocky did give his brother his fair share, so neither went hungry.

This afternoon, I moved Rocky into a kennel of his own to see how they would react to being physically separated.  They have done well.  Dinner time was the hardest, because Blaze insisted on going into Rocky’s kennel and eating with him.  That is how they’ve ALWAYS done it.  But eventually I got across to him that he had a bowl of kibble all his own.  They both ate, then came out to play.

A clan of calm canines.

This evening both brothers are lounging on their beds and enjoying the pleasant weather.  Their new neighbor, Sable, is also being quiet (for a change).  I think she likes having someone in the room right next to hers.  Last night that room was empty and she howled, on and off, all night long.

As long as Da Boyz are able to sleep while not piled on each other, then I’d say we have a successful move.

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