As I predicted, the new addition to my household critters has not been met with universal approval.
I'd already said that the Sibe and the Persian instantly hated each other upon first meeting. And now the rest of the dogs of war have weighed in.
The battle lines are drawn thus:
I had anticipated some jealousy and territoriality from the other members of the tribe upon the arrival of this Sibe. Luckily, thus far he has been accepted by most of my dogs, with the possible exception of Chow 1 and the definite exception of my ancient Lab mutt.
The Lab has been proven to be the most problematic. He's my oldest dog, in terms of seniority, and with age has become a cranky old coot. While he has grudgingly accepted new members of the family over the years, I'm pretty sure their diminutive sizes, relative to his, played no small part in his establishing rank. It doesn't help that this young Sibe is a tad larger than he is, and enjoys the privilege of being an indoors dog. It wasn't my idea to banish the Lab outside; he had elected to stay in the backyard with the other dogs for quite sometime now, with only occasional sorties into the house - usually when it's raining outside and he can't be bothered with the damp.
And guess what kind of weather we've been having lately.
I have no problems keeping him inside again except I've had two close calls when he tried to attack the Sibe. So far the newbie has diplomatically accepted his current bottom-rung standing, but a run-in with Chow 1 one night - when he fought back when the jealous critter lunged for his tail for the nth time - proves that he won't put up with harassment forever.
Nature will run its course despite my best efforts at brokering peace, and the dogs will establish a new pecking order amongst themselves sooner or later. Which means a Battle Royale is in the offing. I already know the main combatants. The only questions left unanswered are when, how bloody, and who will achieve flawless victory.
And then of course, there's the cat. Being of the feline persuasion, he's quickly learned to stake out higher ground knowing that a murderous Sibe is just behind Door No. 2. This translates into wicker baskets and empty wine bottles being knocked off unceremoniously from the top kitchen shelves, as well as any object left atop the fridge. While I shouldn't worry too much about his instincts for self-preservation, it's not beyond him to taunt the Sibe when we're out for our daily walks, prancing, preening, and staying just out of reach while my arms and shoulders get a full workout trying to hold the big beast back. For his sake, I hope cats truly have 9 lives, because he plays with this one far too foolishly.
I feel as effective as the fucking U.N. here. And just about as impotent.
Well, if the Romans had their Pax Romana, I want my Pax Canibus.
Si vis pacem, para bellum.*
* Attributed to a quotation from Roman military writer Publius Flavius Vegetius Renatus: "Igitur qui desiderat pacem, praeparet bellum." Literally meaning "If you want peace, prepare for war."