Sunday, July 29, 2007

Communicating with Dogs

Before I begin, let me remind you that I have three dogs. One, a female cocker named Cassie, two, a male cocker named Max, and three, a miniature collie named Skylar.

Skylar didn't come into the family until after the other dogs had been here a few years. It wasn't my choice to get third dog, but a friend of ours had a miniature collie that had just given puppies and he was giving them away. GIVING THEM AWAY.

It was my daughter's birthday and she wanted it. What a sucker. You could have asked when it it wasn't your birthday, couldn't you, and I would have mildly pointed out...no.

So we bring this little six-week old puppy into our home. Max, of course, loves it. He loves anything that he can eat. Cassie was a little standoffish as she was the first to live here and knew this puppy was just going to be an intrusion she would have to fight hard to get rid of. Of course, she knew Max could take care of that for her, the little queen she thought she was.

Well, as luck had it, they all got along. In fact, Skylar LOVES Max and still, two years later, tries to play with him, and Max, the stupid dog that he is that doesn't realize he's not a puppy anymore, plays with Skylar like he's a kid again.

Speaking of kids, this is what this blog post is all about.

As it turned out, Skylar is human in a dog's body. But, a child human. With wants and she lets her wants known. Ever had a kid stand in his play pen and drop a toy on purpose on the other side, then scream for you to pick it up and this happens over and over until you're screaming your head off?

That's Skylar.

Well, I love little Skylar to death and because she's the youngest, I have to admit I've spoiled her a little (why is that?). But, along with being spoiled comes whininess. And when you have whininess, something's gotta give.

I never thought much about it and really never thought I favored Skylar over either of my dogs since I love them all, but it was one particular afternoon (yesterday) when I realized I had become ONE OF THEM. Not a dog, mind you, but one of those grandmothers who spoil their grandchildren and you don't realize it until you've taken them out and they show you what they can do with grandma because they know grandma loves them. To pieces.

And it made me wonder when I realized this if this would be like it was if Skylar was a child. And I'm pretty sure this would be because even though Skylar is technically a dog, she's the grandchild I've never had as ridiculous as that sounds.

Well, let me tell you how I found all this out.

My daughter had come home from work and I told her I was never babysitting Skylar again. She rode me ragged.

My daughter laughed and of course being the MOTHER she thinks it's cute and, of course, wants every detail.

I told her I was sitting at the computer. I had tours go out in four days and I was scrambling. I had seven authors, a record with Pump Up Your Book Promotion...I mean I am a busy woman and have other things to do than cater to anyone's wishes at the moment.

I'm typing and I hear "Woof!"

I look over and I can't really figure out what is wrong with the dog except she might want a bone, so I get up and go give her one.

I'm typing and I hear "Woof!"

I look up and she's eaten the bone, so I get up and put a PILE of bones by her feet.

I'm okay with this at this point because it's afternoon and she might be starting to get a bit hungry.

I go back to what I was doing and I hear "Woof!"

I jerked up, ready to clobber her, and I see Cassie sitting at the pile of bones daring Skylar to come near them.

By this time, I've had it, but as she is my GRANDCHILD, I get up and put a pile of bones to her feet, too. So, Cassie and Skylar have a pile of bones and Cassie won't steal because she has her own and Skylar won't bother me for a while because she has her own, too.

Figuring I have solved the problem, I try to get back into work and get something done in the precious time I have.

I am typing and I'm feeling something move against my leg. Skylar is pushing her butt against my leg to scratch it. I refuse to take my eyes off the computer, so I reach down and rub her.

I've rubbed her for about five minutes, my arm is going numb, so I stop and concentrate on these tours.

I feel the rubbing again.

Well...

It.

Is.

Annoying.

I grabbed the dog and threw her in my lap and asked her "What in the hell are you bothering me for????"

And that's when it dawned on me. Skylar and I had connected just like a grandmother and grandaughter would.

I thought it was rather funny even as annoyed as I was. Neither one of the cockers really communicate well. Max will stare at me to go out; that's his way of communicating. Cassie will paw at her water dish to let me know it's empty and that's her way of communicating.

But, Skylar.

Skylar has learned how to bark a certain way to get me to jump and to do what she wants me to do and I do it. I've done it for years but it didn't occur to me that this communication thingee we had going on really was a neat thing. When I first realized what the barks meant, of course, I jumped up because communication between two species who don't talk the same language, there is such a barrier there. When you break that barrier, life becomes simpler.

Well, usually. That's if you don't let them become spoiled and start barking their demands to the point where you find yourself the dog and they the ruler of the roost.

But, I think that's just the way it is when you're a grandma and would you want it any other way?

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3 comments:

  1. I don't own a dog right now. The kids want one really bad, but we can't at the moment. But I think it's so neat when dogs communicate with their owners!!

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  2. She sure is a cutie! You'd HAVE to pay attention to that one.

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  3. I hear ya on that one! I don't like to think of it as Prancer being the 'ruler of the roost' here, but I must say she has us well trained! Gotta love them dog/grandkids!!!!

    Hugs

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