Monday, March 23, 2009

Dogs communicate on many levels.

So last night, Lagniappe is getting on my nerves. He's barking at things outside that don't warrant barking at (neighbors that he knows, walkers on the road, nothing, etc.) so I finally bring him inside. Then he starts pestering me. I'm on the computer trying to work, and he comes in, puts his nose under my arm, and flips my hand off the keyboard. I hate, hate, HATE it when he does that, especially because he'll do it over and over again until he gets what he wants. Usually he wants dinner but he already got fed and he just came in so he doesn't need to go back out. Finally I yell at him. "KNOCK IT OFF!"

Apparently I hurt his feelings, because he turned and slunk out of the room, then came back in a few seconds later, deposited one of his favorite toys on the floor next to my chair, then turned and walked back out again, all without looking at me.Now I felt like a heel, because he obviously felt like he had to make amends for something. And you have to know him to understand how serious things have to be before he parts with his toys. I took a break from work, went and found him where he was sulking on the stair landing (his little Fortress of Solitude), and said those magic words that make all things ok again in Lagniappe-land: "Come on, let's go for a walk."

He practically flew to the back door and launched into his Happy Dance as I took his leash off the hook. He lives for walks.

So we spent the next hour walking down the dirt roads, watching the sun set and just enjoying the evening together. That was all he'd wanted--just some time and attention. And looking at the stuffed possum that was still on my office floor when we got back, I realized that sometimes the loudest messages are the ones most softly delivered.


  1. Anonymous6:08 PM

    Awww, what a sweetie. It's amazing how little can make them happy. You unselfishly recognized it and made way to make him are the best kind of owner. :-)
    Is Lagniappe your former K9 partner?

  2. No, I never worked with him. He got cashiered out of a department a long ways from here and I was never a K-9 guy myself. I just ended up with him as a favor to the kennel operator, who was stuck with an "incorrigible" dog that no one else would take. And I'd by lying if I said that we hit it off and became best friends from the first day...there were some rough patches. But through patience and understanding, he's become one of the best dogs I've ever had.

  3. OK, I now have tears in my eyes and have this need to cuddle the obese lab, who's been nuzzling my hands since I got home. *sniff*

  4. Dude that's a hedgehog, possums have tails and are grey.
    He's such a sweet boy!

  5. That sounds like a great way to spend an evening. And was a very sweet story. :)

  6. Anonymous9:34 PM

    What a nice happy ending!

  7. I laughed and then cried when I read this.

    Kira will jump on me and nip at me when she wants my attention but when I yell at her to stop it, her tail will droop, her eyes get sad, and curls up in pathetic little ball on the couch pouting because she thinks mommy doesn't love her anymore. Then I stop what I am doing and go out into the living room to pet her, tell her I love her, and grab a toy to play fetch for awhile. She is happy and her faith in me is restored.

    I try so hard not to yell at her anymore. I fail sometimes. But even a couple minutes of a butt scratching seems to do the trick and she knows that her mommy loves her.

    I know she is just being a dog and just wants me to love her and spend time with her.

    Dogs and the lessons they teach us.

  8. I feel your guilt! I realized the other day that I spend more time feeding and yelling at my dogs, then spending belly rub time. I need to fix that.

  9. Awww..Fifi (my mom's dog) used to do that nose nudge trick, and it made me laugh every time. I wasn't working, though. I yelled at Ollie (he kept racing over me as I was sleeping, you know, usual cat behavior at 6am) and I will never forget the look on his face. I thought he'd never trust me again. I think he has...but I still feel guilty when I think of that moment.

  10. awwwwwwwww how sweet :)

    I had a cat once that did that kind of stuff to me. He was a very regal looking Himalayan/Siamese mix, about 15 pounds, very haughty, very sassy (he back talked me).. but when I yelled at him, he didn't slink away. Either he would "talk" back to me, or he would stalk away, then come back later, sit in the middle of the room and meow until I looked at him .. then he'd get up, turn around, and sit back down with his back to me .. to let me know I had displeased "His Royal Nibs"

    I was constantly engaging in psychological warfare with that cat.

    But, at night, he would come and lay on me, stretching from my hip to my shoulder, and purr in my ear all night, no matter how bad our day was.

    That makes me sound a little crazy, huh? lol