Thursday, February 2, 2012

[006] Growing pains

I'm having a fair bit of trouble trying to be "fair" versus trying to be a protective momma.

Currently, Mike and I are living in a ranch style house. Mike owns the house, and subsequently pays the mortgage. We occupy the upstairs, which has our room, Rufus' room, Mikes office, a full bath (which is shared since the downstairs bath does not have a shower), a shared kitchen, shared living room space, and shared room with a pool table. The basement is partially finished, with the half that is finished constituting our housemate's area. There is, as aforementioned, a half bath downstairs also, along with a shared washer/dryer.

I like our housemate, and we have one so that the mortgage isn't a total financial burden on us (ie- not sucking up every spare dollar we have). Mike purchased the house to have multiple roommates - it was never intended to split the mortgage between only two people, or he would have opted for something less expensive, with lower taxes. When I moved in, things changed a bit, and now I cover a third of the mortgage/taxes.

Rufus seems to have serious aggression issues with males. Not, like, behavioral issues, but when he plays with the boys, the boys tend to rile him up more to the point where he is not nipping anymore, but biting, growling, and generally just out of control. Rufus does not pull this kind of thing with me - because from day 1, momma taught him better than that. I'm working with my boyfriend to try to get Rufus to play nicer with him, and when we sign Rufus up for obedience classes soon, Mike will handle him to establish that hierarchy. Because of this, and because the first weekend we brought Rufus home, I saw the housemate rile him up and play rough with him, I made it pretty clear to Mike that the housemate wasn't allowed to be near Rufus when we weren't home. I understand now that Rufus is just playing and not truely being aggressive, but I don't want these bad habits to form now that he will not drop later.

We've had Rufus home for three weeks now, and on 4 separate occasions either the housemate has 1) let Rufus out of his cage when we were not at home, without our permission, and without immediately bringing him out - which led to him going potty on the floor, 2) played rough with and/or riled up Rufus, and 3) when Rufus gets riled up, does not discipline him the way we have been disciplining him and/or gets bored and leaves Rufus alone in the room "puttering around" - which leaves him riled up and usually in some kind of trouble for myself or my boyfriend. First off, I absolutely have been taking offense to the fact that he has been walking into our area of the house, opening the door to Rufus' room and taking him out without our permission. That's rude. Mike came to his defense initially and stated that it was our fault a bit because we didn't make it clear to roommate that we didn't want him to go take the dog out - but I still think it was rude of him to not at least ask us for permission. I don't know where he got the impression that Rufus was his dog, our the "house dog" but he isn't. Secondly, even when I am home to supervise, I still do not like him playing with Rufus. Rufus is only 10 weeks old, and highly impressionable right now and like I said, he can play all he wants, but I absolutely do not want him to be encouraged to get riled up when the focus of that attention is trying to nip people's skin or clothing. Roommate has done this, to the point of even GIVING Rufus his hand to chew on, and has not followed what we have asked him to follow in terms of discipline.

I'm in between a rock and a hard place right now though. I can't go full out bitch mode on him, because as much as I'm an equal third roommate, it isn't my house or my rules that go, and Mike is really reluctant to be hard on him. Also though, I can't have this continuing, because Rufus was starting to make progress and now he seems to be regressing and getting wilder. When Rufus has all his obedience training and will sit, stay, and drop things on command then I will be more comfortable with anyone and everyone playing with him however they choose - because at any given point he will know the command to stop play and will do it.

Challenge number two right now is Rufus' eating. He loves the wet food we have tried to give him, but it didn't seem to agree with his stomach. I'm not sure if its the food itself, or the fact that his tummy wasn't used to it and needed a chance to settle. He also appears to be losing interest in his dry food, which isn't a very nutritious brand, so I'm doing tons of research on good replacement brands - preferably ones that are all-life stages so he can grow on the same food.

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