Learning from Keket


Ever since I picked my pup Keket, I’ve been worried with her behavior. She was defenseless in her bare one month of existence, so I mothered her.


The first worrying sign came when she refused to be fed by Paul. There was no comprehensive reason, but when I tried to feed her she accepted. Instead of submitting to her demand, we insisted by making her morning meal more attractive. As I’m used to sleep until late hours, I would never be a good early hours mother.


There were other signs of attachment, like when she begged to stay on my lap to be cuddled and groomed. That wasn’t always a good experience for me because, as soon as I started, she insistently bit me, first with tenderness and finally with rage. It was only after weeks of misunderstanding that I learned what she was telling me: “That is not the proper way of doing it. You have to use your mouth and bite me like this…” For her I was being a clumsy mother. I couldn’t bite her, as evident, so I started to use a wet comb and pinch her now and then. She likes it rough and seemed thankful with the change.


The last period of mothering Keket was marked by her general troubled behavior. Despite having almost twenty toys to play with, she kept destroying anything but them. From electrical cords to furniture, I had to cover everything with Tabasco. But at the same time I was doing such hot job, I realized I was punishing and not addressing the root of her dissatisfaction. Knowing that there is another dog in the house, she wanted to play with him. I was aware of it from the beginning but I started by protecting her and then I was protecting him from her ferocious teeth. Since she has been spending most of the day with Thoth her destructive behavior changed positively.


Contrary to other dogs I closely knew, Keket shows signs of truly aggressiveness. She brought them from the place I went to pick her. When we thought things were satisfactory progressing, we discovered that she has been badly biting Thoth’s cheeks. He is such a good chap and likes her company so much that he has been submitting to her unfair punishment.


Our first reaction was getting a muzzle, but Andy and I are against such extreme measures. After a conversation we concluded that her aggressiveness towards Thoth is stronger when I am around. She is making clear that I am her business, not his. From now on I cannot be in the same place with both. If by chance that happens and Keket shows signs of aggressive behavior, I know I’ll have to punish her. I like a dog to be playful and meek. Aggressiveness is not acceptable. I learned from Keket. Now it’s Keket’s turn to learn from me.