Now that I'm absolutely clear about NOT justifying the margins, I feel safer writing the blog. I figured out a way to have it justify AS I write, not afterwards. Duh. Sometimes being away from a computer for so long (we're only on for a few instances each day, not hours of computer time like before we retired) we sometimes forget the little things that make a computer so efficient. My last blog included all the activities that we enjoyed during the weekend while Jackie and Jesse were here, with their friends Loopy and Francesca. We all just had a blast. But the real news of the weekend was that each of the big dogs, in his own time, had the piss kicked out of him by Blue. It was always an escalating food issue, and would never have occurred without some type of tasty morsal causing the confrontation, but both Jake and Bailey were tested by Blue, who was only doing what "only dogs" will do, and that is protect his food, his master, and his territory. The only dog who was not at issue was Daphne, because truthfully she and Blue have a little flirt thing going on, and he would never jeopardize that. Also, she is a bitch and he knows better than to push THAT button. So they were both getting along beautifully over the weekend, while Jake and Bailey kept a pretty low profile. The food fights were fast and furious, and someone always came away thinking they had won. Usually it was Blue. He is four pounds of fearless macho. Bailey spent alot of time under the bed, and Jake just continued on his lumbering way, not really registering Blue's attack, just enduring it until we all pulled Blue off his collar. There is something comical about a four pound chihuahua swinging from the collar of a 110 pound black lab/dane. And Jake just stood still so we could get a hold of Blue and rip him off. Although Blue's testicles have been removed (as all good dog owners will do) it would take a lobotomy for him to feel like he had anything but a massive set. Sounds like some guys I used to know. Anyway, the kicker is that after they all left and we were settling into our usual quiet and peaceful Sunday afternoon routine, Jerry sat down on his recliner and with his sandwich and was gearing up for a nice ball game or something like that. Daphne was on his lap, because that is where she sits. Bailey was at his feet, waiting for some small morsal of a sandwich to come his way when all of a sudden he just snapped. After two days of being out of bounds from Blue because of his romantic loyalty, she had the piss beat out of her by her brother Bailey. As hard as that is to watch, and as much as I felt so bad for her, quite frankly, it was long overdue. She has been yelling at Jake and Bailey since she arrived, and both of them have given her a wide berth without getting into any rumbles. This was a rumble of huge proportions. Daphne was wounded emotionally as well as surface wounds. She hobbled into our bedroom and simply went to bed (after being lifted up by Jerry). She is now giving Bailey a wide berth, and we are making sure that food is presented EQUALLY to each dog, with no room for posturing or bullying. It is a big moment in a dog owner's life when they see their little canine companion suffer the consequences of bad behavior, and Daphne's moment has been a long time coming. I love her to pieces, but she is a tough cookie. Jake has taken her bullying for years, and Bailey had taken it right up until Sunday afternoon. I think he might have just been overwhelmed by the little dogs getting all the treats and finally said "enough." I can't really blame him, but it is tough to watch. These are the things we focus on after the kids leave, because we miss them so much. It was hard to watch them drive away and every time one of them is here it makes us miss them that much more. So we give attention to the dogs, who are always here and looking for attention. It's kind of a trade off. Inadequate at best, but it also offers alot of life lessons for us to observe. Bad behavior eventually has consequences. Who knows how long Daphne will hold this lesson in her heart, but she is walking wide and slow when she passes Bailey in the hall. For today, he has her respect. We still miss the kids, but we have something to chuckle about.