I don’t know why at times Mom and Dad decide that the type of messaging behavior shown in this clip is necessary. My visits during a week can seem to be going so well. Then Mom, Dad or both materialize in front of my dogs and me and scrape the ground. I’m looking at them from high ground and a chain-link fence separates my team from theirs.
Dad, at about nine seconds into the clip, asks Mom to move back. There is a particular spot he wants to urinate on and she is in the way. Not shown in the video, that spot is exactly where Mom urinated twenty seconds before. And sixteen seconds before Mom did, Dad urinated there first.
In their messaging to my dogs, Mom and Dad are a team. Yet while engaged in messaging intruder dogs, Dad had something to say to Mom, namely, “move.” Why did Dad have Mom move with the result that he could then pee where she had? Were Mom and Dad competing for last pee rights during a tense encounter? If so, what does that say about how well they cooperate as a team?
A possible interpretation of Dad moving Mom away is that Dad was being competitive with Mom. If we take that view, then Dad bested Mom when he moved her away in order to pee on her spot. Competition, in that view, compelled Dad to best Mom because Mom had tried to best Dad when she urinated where he had already peed.
My problem with competition as an explanation is that it requires us to believe that Mom and Dad were bickering at the very time that a conflict between them would be imprudent. It is hard for me to believe that Mom and Dad would bicker when engaged in a dispute with intruder dogs. After all, Mom and Dad were cooperating in a territorial display. It makes more sense to me to see Mom and Dad as cooperatively peeing, not competitively peeing. I see cooperative peeing as a key element of their territorial display.
In my view, Dad started this particular scent pile and Mom, thinking that a scent pile was a grand idea, added her two cents to it. Dad then expressed a desire of his to Mom. Dad expressed it when he moved her off. Dad’s desire was that he be the one to put the finishing touches on their extremely well-made scent pile. Mom, thinking that they both had been doing such a lovely job building the scent pile together, was pleased to assent to Dad’s desire. I think Dad in moving Mom, was telling her “Okay, we’re done. I’m going to finish this great job off.” That’s just what Dad does, and Mom is fine with it. Walking away Mom glares at my dogs, not at Dad for supposedly having bested her with his final blast of pee. She couldn’t care less about that. I see Mom and Dad first and foremost as a team, intimates who always inform each and the other of their intentions when confronting obstacles together. The communication between them is a key element of their success as a couple.
In the final section of the clip, Mom glares at my dogs, looks away, and glares some more. Dad is occupied with grooming himself. They sat like that until after the sun set and I went home.