Puppy Shaman

I think the demon that was inhabiting our puppy has changed bodies to our older dog.  Hanu, our older  dog is the least aggressive dog I’ve  ever met.    He’s willful and distressingly smart, but never ever aggressive.  I’ve seen him run full tilt at an angry stranger dog at the dog park and flip mid-air to land throat up directly under the  angry dog.    It’s pretty high on my  ‘The world is very strange’ list and somewhere in the middle of my ‘Holy crap the world can be scary’ list.  Hanu is also smart enough to figure out how doors work – because he loves the air conditioner.  Being outside in the heat is just too uncivilized, he figured out how to open the door so he can come inside and cool off on the AC vent whenever he wants.

Now, enter, stage right, the possessed puppy.  The puppy is now demon free and a happy, wiggly bouncy sausage on legs.  Because she was ill so long, she’s still not completely house trained.  Which means she’s often on leash even in the house.  Clever Hanu has taken to tormenting the puppy in ways that we can’t really punish.  Technically, he’s not doing anything wrong.  The first example was puppy being leashed to my chair while happily playing with Hanu.  At some point, Hanu took her chew toy and moved at a walk just out her range with her following him as far as the leash would let her.  Then he jogged back a couple of steps and bounded through the room landing inches from the other side of her leashed range.  It gave her just enough room to get up to full speed before the leash yanked her to a stop.  Don’t panic, she wears a sturdy harness when she’s leashed, she didn’t get hurt at all.  Just startled.  Really really startled.  That game continued for a couple of days until puppy mostly stopped falling for it.  So Hanu escalated.  He started leading her around a table or chair leg that would effectively shorten her leash range, then do  the leap from one side to the other.  Resulting in a  few more days of leash stops before she stopped falling for it too often.

The next adaptation was clever enough I started to suspect where Puppys demon had migrated to.  He would play and wrestle with her in a small area slowly expanding to use all of her leash radius then lead her around a chair leg and bounce away all at once.  He’d do it for long enough that she’d forget about the leash before he led her astray.  Thats not doggish, thats diabolical.

A few days after I saw that happen, I had puppy leashed at the edge of the dining room while I worked in the kitchen.  I heard a rattling sound and funny gaspy grunts from the puppy.  I peeked around the corner and found that Hanu had gone into the office, opened a drawer, pulled out the only toy he’s not allowed to play with, and brought the toy back to the living room.   Where he lay, an inch from her leash range, shaking the stuffed puppy toy so it rattled.  He was close enough to her I’m sure he could feel her breathing while she strained to get her toy.  And make no mistake, he was not playing with that toy.  He was just moving his head enough to make the rattle sound while he laid on the floor, totally relaxed.

Once I realized I was watching something truly unnatural, I noticed more odd behavior.  Puppies love to run, but this one runs widdershins circles around Hanu at full speed in the yard.  Then there was the parkour incident in the bedroom – None of the surfaces under the puppy’s feet were the floor for 3 circuits around Hanu.  The side of the bed, a pillar, the footboard of the bed, the side of a dresser, the laundry basket, you get the idea.  It looked like magic to me – it was definitely defying gravity.  I have hope for Hanus recovery though.  For every time he torments the puppy, there are a dozen times that he brings her toys or lays quietly while she climbs him like a demented monkey.  A sharp word from either of us to the puppy (“don’t chew that”, “drop the slipper”, “no! don’t pee there!”) is enough for Hanu to spirit his beloved puppy to his cave for protection.  He escorts her to his kennel, then lays across the opening as a guard.  The good dog is still in there and he’s in control most of the time so I  think the demon will be exorcised.  And if ever there was a canine shaman who knows how to remove a demon from a dog, its that puppy.

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Vivien NicUldoon

Vivien lives in Portland Oregon with two cats, a smart dog, a happy dog and a brilliant husband.