When Your Pet Has Split Personalities
Have you ever met someone that has two completely different personalities? Two sets of common behaviors, reactions and character traits? Well, I have. Not a human, but a furry monster named Momo (my mother’s beloved dog).
My mother and I share a common love and compassion for all things animal. From risking life and limb to help turtles cross busy highways, to fostering flea ridden ferrets through hurricanes. Nothing tugs at our heart strings more than an animal in distress.
It comes at no surprise to me that Mr. Momo tricked my mother into adopting him from a local animal shelter. Staring through the cage door with his adorable face, complete with a set of expressive eyebrows.
His begging skills are superior with a signature “sit pretty” pose that he can whip out at anytime. His cylindrical body rolls over and plays dead convincingly if you point and shout “BANG!”
Mr. Momo possessed all the cute and cuddly features expected of an adoptable dog. Yet, he had been returned to the shelter after an earlier adoption.
The red flags were brushed aside, and Mr. Momo captivated my mom’s dog loving heart. Mom and Dad brought Mo home and loved him immensely. The best life a dog could ever dream of was lavished upon him. Treats, expensive mixed food, and multiple walks a day.
All was well until a new side of Mr. Momo revealed its furry head. His true character poked through and Mr. Momo transformed into a canine version of Mr. Mo Hyde. Mom and Mo grew a tight bond and Mo Hyde became increasingly protective of her.
Any sudden movements from family members to stranger alike, if near mom, triggered Mo. He transformed into a deranged creature. All training and sense of right and wrong dissolved into pure rage.
Eyes glowing red and fangs exposed, furry Momo Hyde would take a chunk out of your hide if you trespassed withing the 3-foot protective radius he patrolled around mother. Vacuums, couches, random objects, all were attacked if they moved too quick.
My younger brother grew tired of Momo Hyde’s antics. Locked in an endless battle, neither dog nor brother would back down. Each antagonizing the other, fueling their loathing, seeing how far they could push until reaching a breaking point.
However, as quickly as Mo turns evil, he has the ability to turn back on the charm and revert to his ever lovin doggy self.
The key? …… My mother.
From the worst of enemies to buds, my brother and mo can be together on the couch. Co-existing is possible and even enjoying each other’s company on a rare occasion.
If and only if, my mother is absent from the house.
The only moments of cease fire that exist, are during motherly outings to the grocery store, church or walks with my dad.
Over the years we have found a few tricks, if consistently utilized, that help Momo retain his proper behavior. Removing him from my mother’s lap (which is his throne), or any high place of authority helps. But not always…
What tricks of the pet trade do you know of to contain your animal’s inner beast?