Empirical Evidence That Dogs Will Rat Each Other Out Instead of Sharing Treats

Regular readers of Kid Dynamite’s World know that Mrs. Dynamite and I are dog people.   Oscar came first:

Oscar after cleaning out a yogurt container

we got him when he was a puppy, and have had him for almost 7 years now.  He’s a superstar: loves everyone,  calm, certified as a Therapy Dog, and visits a nursing home once a week to “work.”   When we moved up to New Hampshire almost 3 years ago, we became a foster home for the Northeast Chapter of the National Brussels Griffon Rescue.

Our first foster was Mr. Griffey

and we flunked fostering, which means we kept him.   Mr. G is wicked cute, but he’s also mental: scared of his own shadow, and hates everyone except for Mrs. Dynamite.   He’s finally warming up to me after 18 months.  We’ve also started bringing Griffey on our Therapy Dog visits, and he’s done a phenomenal job changing his “I hate you” ways:  meeting people, making friends, and taking treats from his new pals at the nursing home.

Currently, we’re fostering Benny.

Benny is awesome – super friendly, but he’s a bit older and has had some bladder issues, hence he hasn’t flown off the shelves.  He is, however, up for adoption, and we are trying not to flunk fostering again.

Anyway, Mr. Griffey hates Benny.  With a passion.   It’s probably because Mr. G wants to protect his standing in the pack order (which is kinda odd, because he’s already at the bottom –  I guess #2 of 2 is better than #3 of 3 – and that’s not even counting Mrs. D and I who are of course above him in the pack), but Griffey will attack Benny every chance he gets just to show Benny who the boss is.   Benny could be sleeping on the tv room floor, and Griffey will launch himself off the couch like a rabid flying squirrel monkey to attack Benny.

But Mr. Griffey and Benny (along with Oscar) love food.  While Oscar and Griffey are not trouble makers, Benny will seek out any sort of food you leave within his reach and devour it.   He somehow managed to get a bag of treats off my desk when we left him alone in the first month.  By the time he was done, it looked like an empty plastic bag that had been run over with a lawn mower.   Mrs. Dynamite and I wondered if he shared it with the other dogs, or if they helped him get it down from the desk.

Well, this week I came back from a camping trip and I had a 1-gallon Ziploc bag full of homemade GORP in the bottom of my camping bag.   In my tired un-packing daze, I forgot about it and left it on the floor.   90 minutes later, Mrs. Dynamite was upstairs with the dogs and Mr. Griffey started going ballistic, barking.   She came out of the office to see what the hubbub was about, and found that Benny had located the GORP at the bottom of my camping bag and was in the process of shredding the bag.   Mr. Griffey decided not to wait and see if Benny would share the spoils, and also decided not to simply let Benny remove the GORP and then forcefully take the treasure – instead he ratted Benny out, basically screaming that Benny was being bad.

Maybe I’m anthropomorphizing a bit too much here, but I did find it interesting that Mr. Griffey chose the “stool pigeon” option over the “misbehaving confederates” option.



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