It's not what a parent likes to confess, but lately Max and Belle have been misbehaving. I mostly blame Max - he knows better and Belle is just a baby, following his lead. And he's leading her to team up against Frankie.
Yes, Frankie is a bully. I don't like bullies, but he's a little bully. He can't do a lot of harm... maybe a scratch on the back of a leg. He reminds me of the Cowardly-Lion in the Wizard of Oz, just picking on those he's deemed pretty much harmless. The type of bully that you just have to feel sorry for. He may threaten Belle, keeping the fear in her, but he hasn't hurt her. And it really is wise to earn whatever respect he can now before Belle gets any bigger.
They're evenly matched at the moment, but when Max steps into the game, Frankie doesn't stand a chance. Recently we've caught them cornering Frankie on the doorstep after breakfast (after I've stepped back into the house) and chasing him through the woods.
Yeah, I know they're just dogs, and perhaps, perhaps, they just want to play. But Max has been around Frankie for two years now. He's a smart dog. He knows better and we were counting on him to train Belle to leave Frankie the hell alone.
Instead, I'm seeing an ugly side of my giant sweet dog that I never expected and I don't like it one bit. He's a big bully. And I don't like bullies.
You can imagine, then, that when Tom and I arrived back home this evening and Frankie was no where to be seen, I immediately thought the worst. I called and called. No response. I didn't hear his distinct trill. Didn't see him come scurrying to me from the woods.
But thank goodness I didn't find what I feared most, a pile of black and white speckled feathers. I'm hoping he just decided to pack his little bags and move to the neighbors' house where the grass is just as green, the bugs just as prolific and the dogs much smaller. I could understand if he's decided the handfuls of birdseed he gets here aren't worth losing his life.
But I'm going to miss that little guy. I want him to come home. I want my dogs to stop being bullies.
I hope Frankie's okay.