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Tales from the trenches: The Alpha Wars. Buckley stories and photos

Thursday, September 24, 2015 by  
Filed under Daily Blog


A brief break from fitness and cycling this morning. Today’s blog is going to the dogs. 🙂

On Monday’s I wrote about Buckley, the dog we decided to adopt after Lisa rescued him from heavy traffic (see “Introducing the newest member of JSF: Buckley“). Over the past few days Buckley has settled in nicely, and his personality is starting to emerge.

Buckley is only 9 or 10 months old, and is still very puppy-like in many ways. It’s become clear that Buckley has had practically no human interaction, at least as it pertains to playing. When we first brought Buckley home, I tossed him a tennis ball and he just looked at me like I was crazy. When I threw the tennis ball few feet away, he barely looked at it.

Sonny having a good chew as Buckley looks at me with those big, golden eyes of his.

Sonny having a good chew as Buckley looks at me with those big, golden eyes of his.


That said, Buckley is extremely friendly and social, so I don’t think he’s ever suffered any human abuse–thank goodness. Over the past few days he’s started really to come out of his shell, and he’s brimming with personality. He has finally started to play, run, chase and fetch. Last night was the first time I’ve seen Buckley break into a real run (he was chasing Sonny around the yard), and it was a sight to behold. His awkward gait reminds me of how a foal might run: fast, but still goofy and uncoordinated. I wish I’d had my phone or camera with me because it was hilarious. I’ll be sure to get some footage later this week, as I’m sure he’s going to grow out of this stage soon. He is as fast as Sonny, and Sonny is fast.

Sonny doesn't mind sharing his favorite toy with Buckley.

Sonny doesn’t mind sharing his favorite toy with Buckley.


Sonny and Buckley both have very strong personalities, and it’s clear that they are each attempting to assert their dominance. I’ve been a dog lover my entire life, and so watching them vie for Alpha status is something with which I’m very familiar. What I’m not used to is two large, powerful bully breeds competing for the top spot on the totem pole. They are playing extremely rough, and sometimes it crosses the line.

Guys, remember when we were kids and we would wrestle and rough house with our friends? I think we can all relate to how sometimes someone would do something that crossed the line, usually unintentionally, and before you know it you’re in a real fight. That’s what happened to Buckley and Sonny yesterday.

Buckley got a little too aggressive, and Sonny smacked him down by sinking his teeth into his nose. Buckley cried out with an unearthly ear-shattering yelp that nearly stopped my heart! I bolted out of my office chair, ran into the next room and broke them up. Buckley had a few puncture wounds on and around his nose, and he was bleeding. He was very good while I cleaned his wounds, and the second I finished playing nurse he went right back to rolling around with Sonny like nothing had happened. 🙂

Buckley's battle wounds. That had to sting.

Buckley’s battle wounds. That had to sting.


I’ll be glad when they finally figure out who the Alpha is, as the ritual is very stressful. Lisa, in particular, is so frazzled watching these two bruisers go at it that I think she’s going to need therapy by the end of the week.

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