Sadly, the goldens passed away, and I found myself in collect-them-all mode with four Cavalier King Charles spaniels, which are adorable little dogs, but somehow I ended up with three boys - Tony, Boone, and Kit - and one female, Peach.
Ruby the Corgi is a female, too, but her issues are unrelated to gender.
There's a reason corgis are Queen Elizabeth's favorite dog.
And I bet they push her royal ass around.
Anyway, it turns out testosterone can be toxic.
The three boys fight, and the most aggressive is Boone. He was previously my adorably goofy puppy, but he's growing into his full alpha-male self and has become a tiny terror. About a month ago he started picking on his smaller brother Kit, attacking him for no reason at all. I consulted my girlfriends, plus a dog trainer and my vet, all of whom told me I had to deal with the situation before it got out of control.
So I put a harness and a leash on Boone at all times, even inside the house, where we were tied together all day. If I ate lunch, there was a leash on my wrist. Same with dinner. I had him with me even when I went to the bathroom.
To be fair, this last part isn't a change.
No dog owner has privacy in the bathroom.
I used to read on the toilet, but now I pet.
The worst incident took place a month ago, when Boone lunged after Kit with me on the other end of the leash. It yanked me off balance because I'm a klutz, and before I knew it, Boone and Kit were fighting, Tony and Peach had joined the fray, and Ruby ordered everybody to debtors' prison.
I rolled around on the kitchen floor with five dogs, all of whom were fighting, like a big rolling ball of bad news.
The Cavaliers have tiny teeth, but I still had to take Tony to the emergency vet for a bite on his ear.
He was fine; I'd had it. Besides which, I work at home, and you can imagine that not a lot of words get written when you type with a growling dog attached to your wrist.
They say we make our own prison, but I hadn't felt that way since Thing One and Thing Two.
And you can't divorce your dogs.
Nor do you really want to.
So I went back to the vet, and he had a great idea.
I told him I was already on Crestor but I was open to suggestions.
It turns out he was talking about the dog.
The vet said Boone's problems were due to anxiety, and I guess I didn't appreciate how stressful it was to choose whether you want to eat, sleep, or chew underwear.
So now Boone is on Prozac. I give him a pill every day with peanut butter, but he has to sit.
I train my dog with antidepressants.
You may remember a while ago that Ruby was on Prozac, which didn't work. This time, I'm happy to report that Prozac worked for Boone.
Better dogs through chemistry.
Boone is back to his old, goofy, lovable, nonaggressive self.
A very happy ending.
Look for Lisa Scottoline and Francesca Serritella's latest collection of humor essays in "Have a Nice Guilt Trip," available in hardcover, e-book, and on audio. Also, look for Lisa's new novel, "Keep Quiet," in stores now.