Madeline is loved.

Since my brother adopted Madeline’s 2 brothers Ajax & Lennox, the 3 of them are fortunate enough to be able to see each other from time to time.   They went through Obedience Class together (which Madeline failed!), where we were often reminded to run exercises apart from each other to avoid the 3 of them forming a “pack” within the class.   Since adopting them in September, Ajax, Lennox, & my brother’s eldest American Bulldog, Gunner, have come over here for Thanksgiving & Christmas, & Madeline & I have gone over the mountain to see them a couple of times.

The four dogs always play well together.   My brother has done a ton of research on the American Bulldog breed & dog behavior in general.   I, being something of a cat person, end up turning to him constantly for advice & enlightenment.   American Bulldogs are by nature a happy, exuberant breed, & potentially very obedient by virtue of their eagerness to please a good master.   Despite the lack of a fence, Gunner, Ajax & Lennox all remain on my brother’s property, not even leaving the yard for a passing stray dog.   This has always impressed me.   Surprisingly, it took Madeline a very short time at my brother’s house to learn to observe these invisible boundaries as well.

Madeline’s breeder lives in my area & I’ve taken her back there to visit her mother & sister, once.   Once was enough.   They had been apart probably a few months & I had expected a joyous reunion.   However, as soon as Kenya laid eyes on Madeline again, she hated her.   I suppose we were re-invading Kenya’s territory; perhaps if they had reunited on neutral ground it would have been better.   Madeline belly crawled all over that yard but Kenya was not appeased.   Their mother, distressed by the disturbance, was continually trying to pin Madeline with her paws while Kenya snarled & attacked.

Madeline seemed unafraid, submissively tail wagging & remaining on her belly almost the entire visit, but it was clear that Kenya did not want Madeline there, & their mother wasn’t particularly pleased to see Madeline again either.    As we left I frankly felt somewhat released from the obligation to let these relations visit.   I’ve kept in touch with the breeder, who enjoys Madeline’s pictures & videos, but we haven’t gone back to visit since.

I don’t think Madeline misses Kenya.

The last time we were at my brother’s house my brother aired Part III of Madeline’s famous “Madeline Whining” videos, just to see how her brothers would react to her distressed, complaining image on tv.    I’ve uploaded 5 videos of Madeline whining as she perches on the edge of my bed, requesting that someone come & carry her 50 lb butt off.   Every time I watch these videos they crack me up.   Madeline’s had to watch me laughing at these videos so many times that now when she hears her recorded voice on my computer she gives me a look of disgust.   There were actually a lot more videos – the contest of wills between myself & my bulldog went on for quite awhile.

In the end I lost.   Yes.   It’s difficult to be like stone when you’ve been struggling not to laugh for well over half an hour.   We are still working on Madeline’s off/on in/out.   Recently we had a breakthrough with her in/out of the shower.   Actually, “in” is no problem.   Madeline enjoys showers.   It’s getting her out that’s difficult.

Upon hearing Madeline whining, my brother’s boys looked askance around his living room until Ajax located her on the screen.   You could almost hear him talking to her.   “Just jump!   We’re right here.   Hey!”

Maybe I have to get Ajax, Lennox & Gunner over here & they can teach Madeline how to get down from the bed on her own.


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