Onyx Arrives

Do I have something on my face?

Do I have something on my face?

One weekend I took Mocha to my dad’s house so she could visit her mother and littermates. I thought seeing familiar doggie faces would help with her socialization. Turned out, Mocha had become so spoiled that she railroaded over her brothers and sisters, nipping and growling and generally behaving like a brat. Only her mother, a 70-pound Chesapeake Bay Retriever, could put Mocha in her place. While my dog was terrorizing everyone else, I noticed a quiet, docile pup with the sweetest face imaginable. It was Onyx, the black female of the litter and the runt. Her dainty feet and slim features made her stand out from her rough-and-tumble littermates. She and Mocha were different as night and day.

I'm not so sure about you

I'm not so sure about you

When Brian and I came to the decision to get a second dog (see “Ambassador”), I already knew it would be Onyx. She seemed so laid-back, friendly, and sweet, surely she would counter-balance Mocha’s high energy and rough ways.

Not surprisingly, Mocha proved to be the dominant of the two, yet accepted her sister readily. Brian and I took to calling them our “cattle,” as the two frisked in the yard like spring calves and grazed on grass patties left behind by the lawnmower. No longer did Mocha mope around the yard alone. Instead, she and her sister dug tunnels under the back deck, then tore through the house with muddy paws. They knocked our lawn chairs over and used them for wrestling rings. When they were exhausted at long last, we would find them sound asleep, piled on top of each other. Success! Almost.



Brian and I had brought Mocha home at 7 weeks old. Onyx was about 13 weeks old when we got her. We felt confident that the extra time socializing with her mother and littermates would make the second-dog transition a piece of cake. Yes siree-bob, a piece of warm, brown, gooey, smelly cake…

As it turned out, Onyx’s toileting habits left much to be desired. Due to certain circumstances, she had become accustomed to doing her business on a rug before coming to live with us. Knowing this, we were a bit wary for the first couple of days. To our surprise, Onyx did fine. Then Mocha, who we had believed to be fairly well house-broken, began peeing on the living room rug. And behind the armchair in the den. And pretty much anywhere else she damn well pleased. Onyx soon followed suit. Brian and found ourselves constantly grabbing a squatting dog, yelling “Outside!”, and half-carrying the dribbling pup to the appropriate place.  The dogs started spending a lot more time outside. We would soon learn that the rug-puddles were nothing compared to what was coming… one very bad night.


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