Raising so many boys is like managing a pack of dogs. Obedience training is essential, and speaking in short commands works best. Every pack has an alpha dog, a title I assumed was mine because I am most often dealing with the litter. But when The Captain is home, the whole structure rejiggers. It's the testosterone. The Captain is our dominant male but, lately, the older pups have been questioning his authority.
Normally, say, if this were a bunch of wolves, the alpha would squelch a challenger and the others would fall in line. But our pack is not so homogeneous. We have a mix of breeds, from lap dogs to Leonbergers. Each one requires a specialized form of discipline. This is a challenge for The Captain. Especially when dealing with Three.
Three is virtually untrainable. In fact, I would go so far as to say Three is a cat. He's happy to live with us because we feed and pet him, but he's not willing to do anything for us in return. He's almost pathologically self-centered, which can be...irritating. And when you point this out to him, he looks at you with a mixture of disbelief and disdain, which can be...infuriating.
So, The Captain and Three had one of their dog versus cat fights this weekend. Lots of hissing and snarling, claws out, teeth bared. It ended with Three asking if he could go live with his best friend, which would actually be a good fit--they're cat people. But because we aren't allowed to give away our children (I've checked), I threw some estrogen on the fire and smoothed things over. The Captain apologized, and we went back to our daily dance, which lately has been less box-step and more cha-cha: one step forward, three steps back. We're going to keep Three, because we love him, even if we don't understand him. We're dog people, and he's one of our pack.