Where have sugar and spice and everything nice gone?

It is almost official.

We haven’t been formally informed but I am almost certain it’s a given.

Their looks tell us.

So does their body language.

Today’s episode practically guarantees that Roxy and I are deemed outcasts.

And it’s all Roxy’s fault.

She started off small.

The low growl was easily camouflaged with a cough or clearing of the throat.

But then it got worse.

The throaty growl rapidly turned into a snarl.

And just like that, Roxy had metamorphosed into the neighborhood bully.

Yes, yes, I now that with a face like this, you all think she’s sugar and spice.

Just look at this face!

But alas, it turns out our little miss has a mean streak.

She’s taken to barking, hissing, and even nipping at furry friends we encounter on our walks.

This morning, an elderly lady who used to be sweet to us, crossed to the other side of the street with her Chihuahua, all the while giving us the stink eye.

The young couple with the brown Pomeranian whispered to each other and picked up their ball of fur when we were ten feet in front of them.

The kind lady that used to give Roxy treats pretended not to see us and instructed her poodle to walk faster.

The gentleman who owns the adorable Westie named Lizzy, shortened its leash the minute he saw us.

To make matters worse, as we entered the dog park, I saw everyone scatter.

In less time than it takes to say, “bad dog,” people and pets had cleared a path for us.

It was as if I was walking a 70 pound ferocious attack dog instead of ten pounds of “used to be nice.”

The Significant Other and the Son don’t know what has prompted this behavioral change in Roxy.

But then again, neither do I.

One day she was hugs and kisses and the next, she had turned into mini Cujo.

Last week she was the most popular girl on the playground, and now she’s the tiny bully everyone shuns.

Sadly, I’m the one who has to deal with the whispers, the stares, the looks.

Looks that silently scream, “bad mom.”

I hope this is temporary; a pothole in the road to us once again being the loved couple we used to be.

But for now, we’re being shut out; reduced to invisibility; exiled to the middle path of the dog park.

Perhaps it is time to give the dog whisperer a call.

Before Roxy’s friendless status becomes permanent.

Before I start bribing dogs to throw her a bone.

Before we both have to wear matching sweaters with the letter “P” stitched on the breast pocket.

P for “pariahs,” because that’s what Roxy and I have become.

I’m crossing my fingers that Roxy will snap out of her Mr. Hyde persona.

Friends, any suggestions for how to deal with this predicament are heartily welcomed.

In the meantime, here’s a little Roxy love for inspiration.

Roxy asks, “Is there such a thing as doggie jail?”
I take my vitamins and play nice at home. Does that count?

Has your furry friend ever experienced the Dr. Jekyll/Mr. Hyde dilemma?

71 thoughts on “Where have sugar and spice and everything nice gone?

  1. Roxy talk to us. Did they change your kibble to a cheaper brand? Is the boyfriend giving you problems? Let it out. You look too sweet to be mean. We think deep down you are sweet.

    Bella and DiDi

    1. Bella and DiDi, I will pass along your advice and sweet words to Roxy. Her kibble is still the same and as far as I know, our little miss doesn’t have a boyfriend. hee hee! Although, if either of these were true, it would explain Roxy’s change in temperament. You ladies are so wise! Thank you for your feedback! :)

  2. Is Roxy rebelling because she’s no longer living the high life in glorious, sunny Spain? Maybe if you just smother her with love she’ll snap out of her snappin’ ways. Every creature is allowed a grouchy spell now and then, no?

    1. Jann, and a grouchy spell she is having! Oh my goodness, how the puppy dogs in the dog park fear her! This morning we went out for a short walk and she ended up trying to bite a little Yorkie. I was left to apologize a thousand times to the owner and the furry friend. I really hope this won’t last until we return to the land of vino! :)

  3. It’s the approaching halloween moon – at least that is what I’m blaming it on. If it continues into November I’ll look for a new excuse. Tehehe. Love the dark background for this post.

    1. Renee, I’m crossing my fingers that it is just a Halloween lunar phase! I’ve even changed the blog template to invoke a different mood. ha! I’ll keep you posted with what November brings! :)

  4. Hmm… I’ll have to think about this one. Quite frankly, I don’t believe this post. She’s just too gosh darn cute-looking in the photos. ;-)

    1. Paz, she may be cute as a button but you should see her when she’s barring her tiny teeth! It’s scary, I tell you! :)

    2. Okay, I believe you only because my dogs used to be that way. They looked really cute, but watch out when they bared their teeth. I think someone called them “ferocious” once. Grrr! So, I feel your pain. How was Roxy today?

  5. How old is Roxy? Oliver is about 4 and a 1/2 and he went from the friendliest dog at the dog park to something like what Roxy is becoming between the ages of 1-2.. He’s still super friendly with all of us and still loves everyone else, but he’s got this need to assert himself around other dogs. We too have to avoid those sweet meet and greets on the sidewalk now, even though Oliver looks like he’s interested, because he is, but then he has to growl, and snap. I wish I could tell you what to do, it’s sad being kept out of these life-giving exchanges. I’ve found off-leash and being away from me helps…I think he gets weird because he’s super possessive of me (because he’s sort of in love with me, because I love him, and it’s so nice, but his way of showing love, I’ve been told, is to guard me like there’s no tomorrow). Like right now, he’s next to me on the bed (apparently a no no because it gives him too much authority/dominance in household) and he’s all alert looking at the cat who is sitting elegantly beneath a curtain of jeans hanging off the side of my desk. He’s ready to pounce of the creature, just in case he should decide to join us on the bed. Maybe Roxy is trying to keep everyone away from you?

    1. Patrice, your comment made me smile–big! I think Roxy is very protective of me and she does react this way when other puppy dogs try to lick and kiss me. However, there are times when the furry friend is only interested in making nice with her and she still responds with a growl. Roxy is three years old. She has an appointment to get her shots mid month and I think I will ask the vet. I’ll keep you posted! :)

    1. Jodi, she is adorable, isn’t she? Trust me, I have a hard time that something so tiny can growl as loud as she does! ha! :)

  6. Bella, perhaps she misses Olivia? Maybe you should invite her to pay you and Roxy a visit. Or you could slap Roxy across the face, and yell, “SNAP OUT OF IT!” It worked for Cher, after all.

    1. Monica, I think she does miss having the company of little Olivia. This is one of the reasons I was considering getting another puppy but I just can’t commit with everything going on right now. Your Cher comment had me giggling, by the way! :)

    1. Irene, you might be on to something! Little Roxy could be just a tad hormonal. I think this is something I will ask the vet when we visit this month! And, “Why, Roxy” is what I ask her every day! hee hee! :)

  7. Oh, poor Bella. Poor Roxy. I seriously don’t know what to suggest. My Sheltie is a fairly substantial boy, but he tucks tail and runs when he sees little dogs coming on our walks! He knows from past experience that it’s the tiny ones who make the most noise and can’t be trusted to play nice. Roxy has the cutest face — perhaps she’s just hormonal right now??

    1. Debbie, I’m considering this as a strong possibility. I really must consult the vet about this. The Sheltie is very smart to shy away from the little ones. They can be quite a nuisance sometimes! :)

  8. Oh gosh, I have no advice. :( I have 3 cats, and they’re all pretty Jekyll and Hyde all the time, so I just learn to live with it. Plus, they’re cats, so I know it’s inherent ;) hahaha.

    Bella, I am really digging the new blog layout!!! It’s so halloween-y cool!

    1. Laura, this is why I’m not a cat person. They can be quite temperamental! ha! I’m tickled pink you like the lay out. I saw this theme and thought the same thing—Halloween! hee hee! :)

  9. Oh, Miss Roxy! I’m so sorry to hear she’s gotten so moody.

    I used to have Springer Spaniels, and they HATED other dogs. They were strays, about two years old and used to running wild when I got them, so I did the best I could. Also, Lucy could be moody with me every now and then. She seemed to have her “bad mood” days when I annoyed her at every turn — then would be sweet and loving the next day. So, bottom line is, I have nothing to offer but a virtual hug to you and the beautiful (and complex) Miss Roxy.

    1. Nadine, Roxy and I will accept your virtual hug and bask in its warmth! Thank you! The Daughter has a Jack Russell Terrier named Lucy and just like your Lucy, she can be moody too! Do you think it has something to do with the name? ha! :)

  10. Dog whisperer time? Have *you* been more shy/hesitant lately, so she feels she has to go all alpha and protect you?

    Hard to believe such cute face could turn into a Mean Girl. Let’s hope it’s just a temporary stage.

    1. Beverly, I couldn’t be shy and hesitant if I tried! hee hee! You make an excellent point, however, since Roxy could be asserting herself with other dogs and trying to claim alpha status. I remember her acting this way when she met Olivia the first time. Hmmm…you’ve given much to think about! I too hope it’s a temporary stage. This cute girl can be a mean girl forever. Or can she? :)

  11. My dad’s dog, Roko, acts like that when dad or my brother walk him, but not when I walk him (I mean, when I walk him alone). My brother thinks that’s because Roko protects dad and him, but feels no need to protect me so hard. Maybe you could ask a friend Roxy likes to walk her instead of you, just to test the theory?

    1. Ivana, Roxy acts the same when she walks with the Significant Other and with the Son. Perhaps I can ask the little neighbor downstairs to walk her for a short while and see how she reacts when she’s not in the company of a family member. Thanks for the great idea! :)

  12. ((((One day she was hugs and kisses and the next, she had turned into mini Cujo))))

    Ooooo, No! NOT Roxy.

    That furry face. That red nose. That wagging tail.

    I just can’t believe she hisses. Is this true, Roxy.

    to me, YOU are ALL sugar! XXx

  13. I am reading your words, and I am believing what you are saying, but then I see that face and I just….melt!!

    Although i do know exactly what you mean. Our kitty is absolutely blooming gorgeous, but she can have pretty massive anxiety when we have a lot of people over, and we have to put her upstairs lest she start hissing at guests. She’s mellowing in her age, but it still makes me feel like a bad momma!

    1. Ethel, that’s what happens to me. Little Roxy turns on the charm, turns her head to the side, and who can resist her? Unfortunately, this charming behavior has been absent as of late when she mixes and mingles with other puppy dogs. I’m with you regarding how we feel like bad mammas. That’s exactly how I feel! :)

  14. Is it getting cold over there? Maybe that’s Roxy’s problem. I get snippy when I get cold. Or too hot too, for that matter. Heck, I can roll my eyes and stump my foot at the thought of somebody I don’t like. Maybe that’s what’s going on in her pooch world. It’s only for a season though. It ain’t fun being a lonely diva. She’ll come around.

    1. Totsy, it’s still quite mellow here but I am going to be on the look out for temperature drops in case this is the case. As always, you are wise, lady–for sure it “ain’t fun being a lonely diva” and the sooner our little Miss realizes this, the better! hee hee! :)

    1. Nikky, you are brilliant! However, I’m no more stressed now than I am always. ha! Nevertheless, I will keep a close watch on Roxy and see how she reacts to the changes in temperament of the members of this family. Thank you, lady! :)

  15. Is Roxy perhaps in pain? My dog became less friendly to others when she had an undiagnosed cruciate injury for a few months. If a dog is injured or in some sort of pain, they will want to keep others away from them so they don’t get knocked or jumped on. (Of course, I hope it’s nothing like that.) Penny is fine again now that she’s well, but still not as willing to greet other dogs as she was before this happened.

    1. Parlance, I’m glad Penny is fine again. I’m certain this is not Roxy’s case because we’ve done a thorough check on her, top to bottom, trying to identify if this was the case. She didn’t seem to be bothered by all our prodding. However, I did give the vet a call this morning and she told me it could be hormonal. Roxy was in heat last month and it appears that symptoms can carry over after the completion of the cycle. Wouldn’t you know it! Thank you for your suggestion! :)

  16. The cute ones can get away with murder because they just look so adorable. My cat is a complete a-hole but he has the cutest pink nose and looks like he is wearing fluffy white bloomers that he still gets away with everything. I suspect one day he will murder me in my bed and everyone will take his side because of that pink nose.
    We all have our bitchy periods, hope she snaps out of hers soon. Good luck!

    1. Kristine, they do get away with murder, don’t they? I guess that’s the price we pay for having cute furry friends! hee hee! And you’re right–we all have our “bitchy” phases. I just hope Roxy’s don’t go on too long. She’s losing all her friends! :(

  17. I second Parlance’s comment. If Roxy had that much of a personality change, there could be a medical reason. I hope she’s okay. Another possiblilty could be that she caught a case of “leash aggression.” If she had a bad experience while she was on her leash, she could now be trying to protect herself from another one. If the vet doesn’t find any medical problems, maybe she needs a little intensive lesson with a trainer to work on her walking skills.

    I know how much you both enjoy your walks, so I hope the situation resolves quickly. Hugs from Lola.

    1. Shary, I don’t think it’s anything that’s medically related but just to be on the safe side, I’ve scheduled an appointment with the vet. I’m glad you mentioned “leash aggression” because about a year ago, Roxy had a bad experience with a Great Dane. It was very playful and she was overwhelmed. It tore right through her leash as it ran in the dog park. Roxy and I were both terrified even though it was clear that the dog wasn’t hostile. Ever since then, Roxy has been snappy with the larger dogs. I will definitely keep you and Lola posted of any new development. Thank you so much for your recommendations. Hugs to the both of you! :)

  18. Oh dear, the Mr. Hyde persona. Hope it wears off soon. Any new stuff happening at home that’s causing the insecurities? Or are you tensed about something, too, Bella? (Actually, I don’t know much animal-psychology, sorry, I just picked some of that up from ‘Dog Whisperer.’) Hang in there, Bella!

    1. Claudine, I can’t think of anything at home that would make Roxy insecure but we have had a bit of a situation with the Significant Other being away from home on family related business. The Son has been swamped with homework and has had less time to walk Roxy. I think you’re right–a combination of all these things could be affecting our little Miss. Thank you, lady! :)

  19. Well, I have cats and they are known to be mercurial. However, I can usually depend on them to be little lovelies. Then who-knows-what happens and they hiss and spit and go all hump-back tail-fluff on me.

    Change in the season? Doggie allergies? Is Roxie prepping for Halloween? Maybe you could try a disguise. For both of you. At least her friends won’t know it’s her – and you – until she gets her manners back!

    1. Eloise, Roxy is indeed prepping for Halloween! hee hee! We have a witchy costume picked out! ha! I think your idea of us dressing in disguise is brilliant! I could go as the Evil Queen! I mean, since we already have a tarnished reputation. hee hee! :)

  20. Oh, Roxy, our Roxy! I once heard that, when a dog is on a leash, it becomes an extension of their personal space and they feel the need to protect it. Off leash, they aren’t so bad. I wondered if Roxy had been spade? If not, hormones may definitely be at play. She would probably calm down after a litter of pups. Our Old English Sheepdogs were not known for their aggression. But the females were definitely more protective than the males. (In fact, the males pretty much bumble through life with a “Who? Me?” sort of attitude.) I could suggest strong discipline here. Definite boundaries. Not allowing her to go through a door before you. Or go up stairs before you. And a firm tug on the leash with a strongly worded negative. She is obviously getting big for her britches. Oh, but it’s so hard to discipline that face?! Good luck, Bella! And good luck Roxy! Loving you from Canada!

    1. Diane, I’ll have you know that I have copied your advice on an index card for the Significant Other, the Son, and myself. I love it! You have made so many good points. I’m the only one who makes us of the strong negative when Roxy misbehaves. The two men who share our abode don’t do a thing when she tries to bite other dogs, unless you count walking away. Thank you for your words of wisdom, lady. Loving you back, all the way from Europe! :)

    1. Belle, if I can, I’m going to tape her! I think only with real evidence will you believe that this cutie patooty is capable of being a mini Cujo! hee hee! :)

  21. I don’t know dear! My little doggy, Gustav used to get a bit Jekyll and Hyde, every time I went away, but I think he’s used to his papa taking care of him now. Where are you now … in Europe? I need to catch up on blog-land, we should have met up. I’m so out of it this month, I blame work, haha! :( Loving the blog’s new look hun. -xx/Madison

    1. Hi Madison! Yes, I’m back in Europe, my friend. I love Gustav’s name! Oo la la! I hope you get some time to relax, lady. Remember what they say about all work and no play! hee hee! I’m delighted you like the Halloween look! :)

  22. Oh no! That sweet little ball of love has caused all that trouble in the neighborhood? I don’t believe it for a second. As for advice, I have none. My dog, 25 pounds, thinks he’s a pitbull. His bark is definitely bigger than his bite, and I am embarrassed to bring him around any other dogs because he’s always starting things he can’t finish. He’s an a-hole, plain and simple. I wish you and Roxy the best. Perhaps this is a case of her simply being misunderstood.

    1. Laura, your comments always make me chuckle! I’m still giggling over your dog thinking it’s a pitbull! ha! If Ms. Little Roxy is misunderstood, then I should be barking and snapping at dogs too! hee hee! I will keep you posted regarding what the vet says on our next visit. :)

    1. Sulekha, Roxy is three. Do you think she’s menopausal already? Oh dear. I hope not! hee hee! Seriously though, I think hormones may have a role in all this. I’ll let you know! :)

  23. I have a cat who has done the opposite. He has always been mean, Large and mean. very loving to me but no one else. several of the grandkids have small scars from his scratches. Suddenly, he is everyone’s lover. Animals are like we humans in many ways, different phases in life, different behaviors. thhis is a sweet story, I hope she gets over this soon. Love the photos of an adorable baby girl.

    1. Hello Tumultuous Journey! Your comment warms my heart. I think you’re right–animals are a lot like people. I hope this is just a phase Roxy is going through and that soon she’ll go back to being the lovely, sweet girl that she is. I hope your cat stays the way it is now! We’re tickled pink you like the photos! :)

  24. Hmmm, usually when a dog changes personalities like that there is something wrong. Have you taken her to the vet and asked? She may have a thorn in her paw (figuratively) that needs removing! Or a toothache. Constipation that hurts. Something has changed her personality… go forth and discover what the heck is going on so it can be fixed. Just like people, personalities don’t change unless something needs to be checked out! Pretty please, take her to the vet. I want her 100 percent when I come doggienap her for her month long vacation with me.

    1. bwhahaha! Doggienap! Nan, you make me giggle! I did call the vet and schedule an appointment but in the meantime, the good furry friend doctor informed me that it could be hormones or a reaction brought on by fear. In other words, if our little Miss feels intimidated or threatened, she will react with hostility. The vet has promised to give her a full check up when we go next week. I shall keep you posted! Hugs! :)

  25. Bella, I just cannot imagine that doe eyed cute Roxy can become a mini Cujo. Maybe she just needs some extra attention. She cannot be menopausal can she? I hope she snaps out this soon.

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