|"You're not the boss of me."|
I got my work done in the morning, and had the rest of the day to devote to dog stuff. Dickens was back to his strict-constructionist interpretation of the Dickens Doctrine, and knocked Daisy off her feet to snatch the one ball she had out of the three or four in the yard (and the two in his mouth). I gave the "Leave it" command but he blew me off. Chasing him was pointless because he loves being chased. So I sat down on the deck and tried to lure him back with a cookie, but he just kept swooping around scooping up balls while Daisy burrowed against my chest and trembled.
Later I caught him in the side yard eating rocks. This really scared me. Winzer, my old Golden, was returned to his breeder by his owners when he was two years old. They traveled a lot and boarded him while they were gone. He started eating rocks, which the breeders attributed to the stress of being away from them so often, and he eventually ate one so big he couldn't pass it. Emergency surgery saved him, but just barely, and he carried a pink, hairless scar on his abdomen for the rest of his life.
Dickens has been like a sullen teenager all day. I'm cutting him a lot of slack because he's probably still wondering when he's going back to his foster home––he's been away from it only since Saturday––and has no intention of taking orders from some stranger in the meantime. But my patience does not extend to allowing him to hurt Daisy. I could separate them during playtime, but Dickens still barks and whines if I'm not with him. Tying him off to the deck with his leash no longer works. His mere presence is enough to spook Daisy, who now spends all day out in the yard where it's easier to avoid him than it is in the house.
I know what you're thinking, because I'm thinking it, too. Give it time. It's not even been a week yet. Tomorrow will bring another day. One of these days tomorrow will also bring another Dickens, one who listens to me and is nice to small, frail dogs.
Until them, I am exhausted, and in awe of people who raise actual human children.