Monday, June 29, 2009

Fight or Flight?

Boston is exhibiting her puppy stage of "fight or flight", when dogs are alarmed or become uncertain about what can sometimes be the silliest things. I've noticed it a few times recently when she has become alert to situations that until this point have been a common occurance in her life.

Yesterday I was vacuuming and heard Boston barking. Now that is unusual for her, as she is generally quiet in the house. It wasn't her "I have to go outside" whimper, but a full blown big-dog bark.

At first I ignored her. When she continued to bark I decided to turn off the vacuum and investigate. Had someone gotten into the house? No, I didn't think so since the front door was locked and Richard was in the back yard.

She was looking into the bathroom, looking at me, and then back into the bathroom. Bark-Bark! I rounded the corner when, horror of horrors, the bath mat was rumpled on the floor. How did that happen?! When did that get there?! This object, which is normally lying flat on the floor had now taken on a life of its own.

Once Boston had my attention, presumably to save me from this monster that had invaded our house, she tentatively approached it. We're trained to "make it funny" and laugh to diffuse the situation. Which is not too hard to do, actually, when you see how the dogs will approach and almost scare themselves.

After a few belly-laughs and click-treats to let her know this was a friendly monster Boston went happily on her way.

I can't wait till she notices the head mounts on the porch wall.

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