Let’s get this dog and pony show on the road. I’m not looking for a dog to kick here, and I don’t want to be accused of flinging doggy doo doo or anything but I guess I knew from even before I moved – in late July of last year – that of my three new roommates – consisting of my sister and her two dogs Hershey and Chubby – I might become the intruder, the fifth wheel, the odd man out, thereby becoming the “underdog.” After all, not only was Sis and the two poochie’s relationship well established and rock-solid but there was a mother-like thing going on. I already knew moving in – with Hershey and Chubby – who was the alpha and who was the beta because my sister told me and as a visitor to their home, very quickly, you could pretty much tell by both of each dog’s behavior who was “top dog” whom was not.
Within a few months of moving in, a few awkward moments, doggie health scares, allergies, etc., the alpha, Hershey wasted little time when he started following me around. I’m not sure if it was to birddog me or not. But there he was. Omnipresent. Right by my side. Noticing this phenomenon, I mentioned it to my sister.
“You’re the alpha to them now that you’re living with us. You may not notice it so much with Chubby, but just like Hershey considered John (my sister’s husband) their alpha, you’re now it.”
In that moment I realized something. I don’t want to be, “alpha,” and I still don’t. That dog won’t hunt.
It’s all mixed up and turned around. The older smaller chocolate Labrador is the alpha (Hershey) and yet, the larger, younger of the two, (Chubby) the yellow Labrador, is the beta. How does something like that happen? Chubby just decided he likes his dog-naps too much? Oh, Chubby will join in the barking at squirrels if he sees and hears Hershey barking but he’s as happy as a dog with a bone – which is redundant – being bigger and being beta. Underdog. Under-achiever? Perhaps. Who knows?
I always liked rooting for the underdog with the exception of this year’s Superbowl, but you get the point. Something very poignant in that Teddy Roosevelt quote I can’t quote properly about the one in the trenches continually falling short but keeps trying, despite. Or like in that football movie, Rudy. The dork, the dweeb, the nerd does good. I don’t mind being thought of as any one of those things as long as some day I’m either no longer in the doghouse or I get off the porch and get my chance to pee with the big dogs. Either way I guess I have started to settle in to the pack. A little.
And quite frankly being considered by my sister’s doggies as an alpha is very humbling for me because it means that I belong. In this dog eat dog world. There is a pack in which I belong.
I’m such a lucky dog!
Maybe one day I might get between those two dogs, down on all fours and share in their kibble with them.
Then, perhaps, I will have really gone to the dogs.
Post# 1182 Word Count: 567.