Sunday, November 24, 2019

Doggy Communication


Exactly how do dogs communicate with humans? They actually do it quite well, it is the humans that need to learn the nuances of this communication. Most of us that have a dog or more than one, can relate to the door mat above. I think that when our door mat needs replaced that this is the one we will get. WHY? Because it is so true! 

Luckily, our dogs are not barking aggressively, they are simply giving us notice that someone is on the other side of the door. And so much more: the garbage truck is going down our road, a biker is cycling down the cove, someone is walking their dog or baby on "their" road. Squirrels could be taunting them or the neighbor's cat sitting on the other side of the porch swishing his fluffy tail at the two doodles barking furiously at his antics. It has gotten so bad, as a matter of fact, that our FedEx, UPS and Amazon delivery people know that they don't even need to ring the door bell. Our doodles will start singing if they hear the sound of a truck, especially if it stops at our home.

a dog's bark is a form of communication to receive attention, much to the dismay of their owners. We have had to learn what most of the different barks mean. It definitely is a way to get our attention, whether to tell us we have guests, or we need to put their food put down or some water in the water dish, we want to play, or go out for a chase with the reflections from the back door. One dog rings the tinkle/jingle bells to go out to take care of business. The other one prefers to go to the back door and issue one loud woof. If this woof is ignored, she will continue and may even come to seek you out. Just know that they are trying to tell you something - you just have to learn the different barks. 

My brother's dog, Piper, has this look on his face that seems to be saying, if he could talk, "I am trying to understand you, what is it you need me to do?" They actually do seem to grasp more of what we are saying to them faster than we are able to toward them. It is a matter of paying close attention to them and their needs.

I am lucky in that I am able to work from home. When I have been writing for too long without taking a break to pay attention to our furbabies, then Maggie Mae will be sure to stop the whole process to let me know. She takes over the keyboard and gives me those big puppy dog eyes that melt my heart. Score for Maggie Mae and Davis. (and me - they get their love and devotion and we all take a break together.

Playtime is playtime, whether with me, with Steve or with our granddaughters. Our 60 pounder does not understand that he is not a lap dog, however, he is so gentle. Even with our 7 year old granddaughter.

I will be the first to admit that I am NOT a morning person. At least, not 4 or 5 A.M. Let's take it to 6 and 7 would be even better. However, when our youngest puppy, who is getting older and better at making it till about 7, yet still has her early mornings, calls for us at 4 - 5, there is no way when I see her excitement on seeing me come to save the day by taking her out. She races to the back door, takes care of business and rushes in to jump up on the sofa, licking me wildly and also paws at me. Never have we tried to teach give me 5 or a handshake, but let me turn my back to her to get my coffee cup or phone and she uses her paw to try to take my hand and almost pull me in to her, as if to say, "Come on. I am here and I need some loving." It is ever so gentle and ever so sweet. As soon as I sit down she is in my lap, Davis it up on the back of the sofa curled around me and all is right with the world. 

Both of them love to give kisses, especially to my hands and ears. When we drive in the car, their seat belts allow them to come forward just enough to rest their chin on either one of our shoulders and just kiss our ears with so much trust, as if to say, "We are not sure exactly where we are going but we are with YOU." Their absolute favorite place to go is to WGAC Doggy Day Care. They have figured out the route by the smells and sights and start with little grunts and cries of delights until we are a block away and then they go into full stereo harmony of barking and howling. Otherwise, they are quite happy to just go to the pet store, the pharmacy drive thru where they always get a pet treat or the bank where they send over a pet treat to the car. Another favorite place is Starbucks, because they have learned they will receive a puppuccino. They LOVE them. I believe, the fact that they get to go out in the car with us is good with them, because wherever we go, they get complimented. Actually, I have had the windows down a bit and while at a red light had people honk their horns to tell us what beautiful dogs we had. Even the Kroger Click List employees know them by name and are quite upset if they are not with us because we dropped them off at DayCare first. 

If our dogs are doing something that they shouldn't or we find part of a paper chewed up and ask, "Who did this?" They both put their heads down in shame. They know. In fact, the older one puts himself in his crate to show us that he was not a super star and his little sister follows his lead. We actually took him to Puppy School. We did not take her. Why? Because her brother taught her everything she needs to know. He sits, she watches and follows suit. At dinner, he takes a down position and she looks at him and does the same. They both come when you call their names. UNLESS, there is water nearby. Then Davis may have second thoughts and selective hearing.

Another way that dogs communicate is by watching their tails. 

Davis has always had a question mark tail. Even as an 8 week old puppy. I always can spot him from far away with that tail. It is a rare thing to see it go down between his legs due to stress, anxiety over something not making his happy. Usually when we spot him doing that, it is when we take him out and he is not pleased with a smell or a sound that he hears in HIS yard. Otherwise, we have this regal, beautiful black goldendoodle with a question mark tail. His little sister had a stick straight tail when we got her. 

I suppose Davis taught her how to do that, also! They seem to share everything else. 

Always listen to your dog. They are speaking to you!

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