Relative Something

*this* John W. Hays’ take on things and experiences

Posts Tagged ‘canine behavior

At Last

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After too many days of no improvement, we are finally seeing glimmers of the old Delilah we knew and were often irritated by. Funny, how perspectives change, and behaviors that came across as a nuisance when she was overflowing with canine energy can become a celebration after a long series of days of droopy, pained existence.

Delilah has regained a little spring in her step, and has flashed moments of youthful yearning to playfully bite and romp, quickly curtailed with reasonable restraint.

Just hearing her let loose with a full-body shake that flops her ears in the rapid tremolo pounding against her own head is of significance when the sound has been absent for so long.

It is like a fresh ray of sunshine after a long period of rain, which is also an apt description of the day we have been blessed with today.

Hello, fall colors!

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Written by johnwhays

October 8, 2017 at 9:14 am

Delilah’s Dilemma

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Delilah must have rolled into some sap. Cyndie thinks it might have been bugging Delilah for a few days. Our poor dog was biting at it, pulling her hair out, and licking obsessively, which eventually created a sore spot of raw skin.

When I got home from the day-job, Cyndie was working her way through an escalating series of interventions to dissuade Delilah from messing with the sore. She had yet to find a method that achieved her goal.

Poor Delilah didn’t realize her lack of cooperation was the cause for the increasingly intrusive control methods being hoisted upon her.

dscn5873eFinally, out came the pad and cling wrap. Cyndie started applying it while Delilah was lying down on her side, and I was getting ready for the chaos that was about to happen when Cyndie tried getting the cling around Delilah’s body. Then she told Delilah to stand up, and the dog responded perfectly, allowing Cyndie to complete the wrap.

It wasn’t very tight, so after a couple of hours it had slid down off the sore spot, but it did help Delilah stop fixating on the wound for a little while.

Before the end of the night, Cyndie had reached the point where she was willing to try the “cone of shame” around Delilah’s head. It wasn’t a full effort, stopping short of threading her collar through loops on the cone as directed, so it didn’t last long. It didn’t really matter. Delilah’s obvious misery was so extreme, to the point of not wanting to move a step while tucking her tail and ignoring any offering of treats, it led to the swift removal of the psychological torture.

It was such a sorry sight, I didn’t have the heart to violate her indignity with a photo recording the moment.

img_1948eWe prefer to remember her in her better days, like the time this weekend when Cyndie grabbed a pillow off the couch and set it on the floor in front of the fireplace to lay on. In a flash of milliseconds after the pillow landed, Delilah dove in for a pin-point landing  before Cyndie could lean back.

The dog had arrived with her fangs wrapped around a precious morsel of bone and went about her business with a feigned obliviousness to the intrusion she had brilliantly executed. When Cyndie turned to question the violation of space, she got the well-known universal dog expression. The look that says, “What’d I do?”

Puppy eyes. Twist of the head.

“Whaa~aaat?”

She knew exactly what she’d done. I don’t buy that act for a minute.

Yesterday, shortly after my photos of disappearing snow posted, we got a fresh new (temporary) inch of white stuff covering everything. Cyndie cleaned off the upper parking pad of the driveway.

Delilah was granted some leash-free time to watch. I think the snow probably felt good on her sore spot. She makes for such a noble looking sentry, doesn’t she?

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Written by johnwhays

March 2, 2017 at 7:00 am

Curious Allure

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There are a couple of things missing from the video I posted two days ago of Delilah’s morning walk, that are frequent parts of her daily surveillance of our property. Below is a hurried, and thus blurry, photo I took, catching her in one of the actions yesterday showing her engaged in the classic canine behavior of scent rolling.

DSCN4383eOne explanation (of several) for scent rolling is that the dog might be trying to cover their own scent with another, as a leftover instinctual behavior from days when they were wild and had to hunt for food. The “scent-disguise” would help them sneak up on prey.

This would make sense for the times Delilah is seeking out the little critters hiding beneath the snow.

But what is the invisible scent that she picks to roll in that would cover her own and not alarm her prey? My guess is, rabbit. What animal would feel threatened by the smell of a rabbit?

The other thing Delilah does that amazes me about a dog’s nose is her occasional focus on individual tiny branches of things growing about a foot or two off the ground. It usually starts with the usual check of tracks on the ground or in the snow, but in certain instances, her attention become riveted and she moves her nose in minuscule increments along some spindly stem.

How much scent can there even be on such a tiny surface, I wonder.

Yesterday, I noticed she was taking things one step further. She was also licking the twig.

DSCN4382eWhat could possible be so enticing to her?

Then it occurred to me that the question was even more intriguing because of the height at which she was picking up this scent. I know that she is extremely fond of rabbits and rodents, but those are all too small to be rubbing up against things growing that high. Even a wandering cat would be unlikely to be the source.

The other common animal that gets Delilah all riled up is a deer, but they are tall enough that it seems unlikely there would be much in the way of contact that low. So, whatever it is would most likely be similar in size to Delilah.

A fox or coyote, maybe?

Time for me to invest in a trail camera, I guess. Or learn to read animal tracks.

I should probably get a trail cam.

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Written by johnwhays

January 25, 2016 at 7:00 am