Despite being nearly seventy years old in dog years and being mortally ill with throat cancer, Kaiser still has it in him. And by “it”, I mean the will to fight. He has always been a scrapper; never a fan of other dogs, he has fought with all breeds, ages and sizes since he reached adolescence. In addition, he gets rather feisty with Nala from time to time, whether it is over food or random dominance battles. That is exactly what happened moments ago in our kitchen…over an ice cube. Every time that I scoop ice from our freezer, both dogs frantically run into the kitchen, in hopes of acquiring a fat-free frozen treat on these hot summer days. Although I didn’t give them one today, which may have lent itself as to why they were upset, as they turned to leave the kitchen, it was on. Either Nala looked at Kaiser sideways or Kaiser didn’t appreciate the side eye that Nala was handing out because as they both took a step forward, they simultaneously turned and began battling. It is normally mostly bark and minimal bite but two large Rotties getting crazy is always enough to get me yelling as loud as possible and stomping my feet, in an effort to break their attention away from one another. Since they are both aging and quite frankly not in the mood for craziness like they used to “back in the day”, the brawl was brief and short-lived. No injuries reported and both parties retreated to separate corners of the house, as they normally do for a short period of sulking and licking their wounds, if you will.
Although I don’t want to see my dogs fight, or any cross feelings between anyone in my midst, it is still nice to see that his soul is alive and well. He can’t fight his instincts which is both real and raw. Dogs can’t lie or fake it so it warmed my heart to see him want to get wild with his kid sister. It will be rather telling when he does slow down to the point that a quick ice cube brawl is too much for him to sustain. I know that day will come eventually but let’s hope it is later than sooner.
Afterword: About twenty minutes later, as I continued thinking about this post, I couldn’t help but consider the similar behaviors that humans engage in. The main difference is that as humans, we have the self-awareness and knowledge of our condition, which is both a blessing and a curse in my opinion. For instance, if we have knowledge of a terminal illness, some of us may shelter ourselves or limit our energy exertion, which goes completely against acting purely on instinct. If we are aware that we are sick, we may not solely act on how we actually feel but we factor the knowledge of our sickness and all of the negative attributes in when we make decisions or assess ourselves.
I have said it before and I will say it again – we have a lot to learn from the animals in our lives. Now I am off to refill Kaiser’s food bowl, so his belly can be full and his heart can be happy.