"A Couple of Confessions"
9 October 2005
It makes life interesting, having a psychic dog.
Somehow Sheila always knows--sometimes before I even get up from my desk--(a) whether I'm going out, and (b) if she is going with me.
If I begin to think about going out, she becomes hyperalert. If she's outside, she keeps an eagle eye on me for signs that I might be leaving the house. Sometimes she comes in and just lies down in the middle of the floor, watching me like a hawk.
When she sees me fiddling with my purse or putting on my shoes, she knows that I will be going out. I don't know how she knows whether she's going or not, but she does. If she is not going, she runs into the kitchen and sits and waits for a treat. If she is going, she begins doing the happy dance, jumping up and running to the closet where her leash is stored.
Today we had a play date with Conner, a Rhodesian Ridgeback mix that Ashley had asked if I could foster for a few days. She felt that Conner had "dog issues," and that something must have happened between him and other dogs and she felt that a first meeting would be better handled if both dogs were in the smaller confines of a dog park (she decided that the little dog park was better than the bigger dog park).
And so, as I walked from my office into the kitchen, Sheila was already doing her happy dance. She was beside herself with delirium by the time I actually got the leash on her.
She really reads my mind quite well, better as time goes by. She's become great on lead. Put a leash on her, and she heels without a problem unless I let her know she doesn't have to. So despite the fact that there were five dogs in the dog park, with a lot of barking going on, and despite the fact that she was dying to get there, she calmly walked by my side (well, she kept pace with me, even though if I had given her the "break" command she would have been outta there in a shot).
The meeting with Conner went well. The two dogs got along very well, chasing each other around the yard for a long time. As Conner got more and more comfortable, his true nature began to come out, and apparently his true nature is to entice Sheila to play harder and harder by barking louder and louder.
I told Ashley that the only problem I could see fitting Conner in here (despite the fact that he's tall enough to eat food off the stove and too big for the dog door) would be if he barked a lot, since barking is already a sore point with the neighbors--and Sheila doesn't bark all that much.
"I wonder what happened to him," Ashley said to the woman who has been fostering him for the past month.
"bark-bark-bark-bark-bark," said Conner.
"Maybe they finally couldn't stand it any more and just turned him loose," said the woman. "I've thought about doing that myself," she added, laughing.
This was not sounding good.
Fortunately, Conner and Sheila got along so well that his current foster mother was feeling better about taking him to the dog park and said she was thinking, now, that she'd keep him, but just make sure that he got a lot of socializing with other dogs at the dog park. We made a play date for Sheila and Conner for tomorrow.
I was feeling better when I left the park because it was sounding like Conner wouldn't be needing a temporary home after all. Ashley also had some folks who had expressed an interest in adopting him.
One thing was sure--I knew that I really couldn't bring him here. He was just too loud and too persistent to be able to handle, with the already cranky neighbors. But he and Sheila might make good friends, for awhile, until he finds himself a permanent home.
About 30 minutes into our time at the park, Sheila turned and went to the gate, sat down, and looked at me, sending me the mental message that she wanted to go home. She didn't complain at all when I put on her leash and we walked slowly back to the car.
Not only is she psychic, but we have good telepathy between us.
PHOTO OF THE DAY
(photo by Peggy)