Lilith, for all of her qualities, has never been a very outgoing dog. She’s had bursts of energetic extroverted behavior but by and large, Lilith the Aloof isn’t an inaccurate way to describe her. She has spent the last three years of her life living in the shadow of her older brothers and Lilith has happily accepted the idea that this is the way that life was supposed to be. But the way we think life is supposed to be and how life turns out to be isn’t something we can always plan for or affect. Lilith has been promoted to Leader of the Pack. It wasn’t something anyone saw coming.
While Lilith was more than willing to accept a lesser role in how the house was ran she now finds herself with an unruly subject. Tyger Linn is a street dog with an uncouth manner and a disregard for hierarchy. She is also highly energetic and likes to play rough without warning. Tyger Linn also likes the rain and loves getting muddy. Lilith is a dainty Pibble Princess and her feet are not to get damp, thank you very much for your acknowledgement. The two are opposites who really didn’t have to attract. Now they are alone together and they are beginning to form somewhat of a bond.
It took a very long time but Tyger Linn is learning that to approach Lilith quickly and in a frontal sort of way is to invite a snarl or at least an Elvisesque lip curl. Lilith likes to be the one who initiates play and she dislikes being ambushed. Tyger Linn is more spontaneous and she loves to leap into the air and land on anyone who happens to be there. Lightweight and springy, Tyger Linn is incredibly mobile, an attribute that Lilith owned outright when all she had was older brothers. Lilith is now having to put real effort into outpacing Tyger Linn and she’s not quite capable of beating her in an obstacle course that the woods provides. Lilith has never truly be on the defensive before nor is she accustomed to being pressed in at attack that she cannot disengage from, even in play. Tyger Linn has out Lilith-ed Lilith. The street girl has invaded the palace. Adjustments have to be made.
The real surprise here is that Tyger Linn hasn’t tried to fight Lilith. Tyger went after both her older and much larger brothers but she’s backed away from the girl dog and this is a sure sign of wisdom. Whatever else she might believe or think is true, Tyger Linn seems to realize that an all-out war with Lilith will end poorly for her. I’m not sure why she sought to fight with an older and much larger male dog who could have easily killed her but won’t clash with a younger and smaller female. Something is going on between these two that I cannot discern yet.
Tyger Linn hasn’t completely come in from the cold yet. The habits and reactive traits of a street dog are still there but they are being slowly dissolved in blankets of warmth and love, trust and reassurance, and more love. Tyger Linn now accepts totally that there are treats that belong to Lilith and there is food that belongs to Lilith and there is pettings that belong to Lilith, and she very quietly waits her turn. She is learning manners and respect for her sister and in turn, for me. Tyger is beginning to understand there is structure and discipline in her home and it serves her very well indeed.
The upside to all of this is Lilith now has some very real competition on the hoof. She has to run faster and harder to keep up. Her sister is a very real and very determined street fighter who plays as hard as she can every time. Lilith has had a very difficult time trying to slip into true play with her new sister but two nights ago they broke out in an all out Bitey Face Wild Hippo Noise Zoomie Lovefest that carried them both across the floor, through the house at speed, and finally into the yard and woods. Lilith is also getting to the point she needs Tyger Linn. There isn’t anyone else left.
It was raining when I got home Thursday and both girls failed to hear me pull up into the yard. They were surprised to hear me open the front door but they were both very happy to see me. For the last two weeks or so Lilith has gone to the front window, placed her front legs on the window sill and looked for him. Thursday she didn’t and it was sad and it was proper all at the same time. Lilith is beginning to let go and I hate to see it and I have to accept it.
This is a new starting point for me. I’ve never had dogs this small and it’s been a long time since I had less than three in my home. I’ve never had an all female pack before. I was really freaked out when Lucas went under the knife because I wasn’t sure how I would managed with just Lilith and Sam, but now, at this point, when my choices are none, I realize that Lilith is more than enough to build a new pack around. I trust her more than I realized that I did or could. Lilith isn’t a puppy anymore and she hasn’t been for a while now. My dainty little daughter is all grown up and she’s handling the new problems within the pack as well as I could have hoped considering what we have lost and who we have lost.
A new pack. I didn’t realize I had started this in 2001 but I did. I formed a family and forged bonds that even death cannot break. I saved lives and I learned more than I thought there was to know, as it always is with knowledge. Now I reform my pack and I relearn lessons and I go forth to save more lives. Lilith is who she needs to be when I need her to be. I could not ask for more.