Dogs of the Mist
Warning: This may bore you into a coma. It might be boring as a vacation slide show.
I am enjoying watching our new dog Willow.
Today she suddenly started barking, which is unusual because she is normally quiet, unless she thinks she hears something outside. She was in the den when she was barking and appeared to be looking out the window. As I got closer I saw that she was not looking out the window, but at our TV screen. She was barking at her reflection! The more she barked the more her reflection barked and when she started growling so did her reflection. I moved in and broke them up.
The neighbors whose back yard is adjacent to our side yard have three dogs. I have mentioned them before. They have Skip, a Jack Russell looking thing and looks very much like Skip in the movie A Dog Named Skip, a little growing Schnauzer, and a little ball of fur named Binkie that barks in a loud shrill voiced, when she barks, which is rare.
Every time Willow goes to the back yard I hear one of the three dogs next door bark – it is almost a different one every time. I think they organized a detail that they each takes turn about to be on the Willow Watch Detail.
Whoever barks, the other two come running. I think Skip is the leader. If he chooses to bark then Skip and the Schnauzer bark. If Skip just chooses to look at Willow through the fence and make eyes at her, then the Schnauzer will quit barking.
Yesterday I saw Willow and Skip touch noses through the fence. I wonder if each knows the other one has been fixed? … or more importantly, I wonder if the Fixed took?
Sometimes Willow will go over by the fence and recognized the three nosy dogs as fellow-dogs and sometimes she won’t. Sometimes instead of trying to communicate with the three small dogs she will run at a tremendous speed – she runs so fast it appears that her feet are not touching the ground at all – she sort of puts herself in a bullet mode and she flies low around the yard – but yet you know her feet are touching the ground by the very rapid sound of the thumps of her feet. As she shoots by them each time I cannot almost see a gleam in her eyes. She is trying to impress them – and I think it works.
She does the same thing to me at times – run at a high rate of speed and get very close to me then make a sudden turn and she has that same gleam. I’m impressed too.
When we first got Willow I bought her a rubber chicken that had a wheezy whistle in it. When Willow first pounced on it the chicken let out a wheezy whistle and she jumped back and let out a scary yip. When she built her nerve she attacked it again and it whistled again. And again, Willow cried with it. After a day or two she had ripped her playmate’s head and one of its legs. It no longer whistled.
We put our son’s old comforter in her crate. One day she pulled it out and tried to pull it up stairs with it clenched in her teeth. Anna saw her doing it and carried it up for her. She made herself a bed in the den. Yesterday she spent a good deal of time pulling and pushing it. After a while she reclined on it and apparently it was just right – she was fluffing it.
One of her toys is a Raggedy Ann looking thing that also looks like a mop without the handle. She likes to gallop around the inside of the house with a gait that a show horse would be envious of – her head high and her front legs taking high steps – then she flings her toy, barks at it, and scoops it up and continues her proud gait.
I am now taking her for a walk every day. I think we both need it. My plan is to increase about a tenth of a mile each day. Yesterday I saw ahead of us a woman named Anne that we have know since we moved here in 1975 walking her poodle. She has told me before that her son got the dog for her to keep her company. As we caught up with them the poodle noticed Willow and let out a yip in sort of a musical tone and stood on it’s hind legs and danced! As we went by Anne asked about Willow over her dancing poodle’s singing, then she said with a smile, “I cannot stand my dog’s shrill bark – I hate it!!!”
How’s that for a loving and kind master?