Thursday, October 20, 2011

A Cry For Help

Middle fall is a particularly sweet dogbike time of year . . . it's dark early and the weather is awesome and Brandy and I head down to the park almost every evening with our glow-in-the dark projectiles and have the place all to ourselves.  She gets all crazy athletic while I, umm, lamely chuck something and enjoy the fireworks.  She's a pretty amazing dog.

The normal routine is that I eventually strain every tendon in my throwing arm and issue the command "let's go home".  At which point her dog brain registers 'lame master ready to quit', and we head home together, me on the bike pedalling for all I'm worth just to give her that last bit of exercise and her, efortlessly keeping up.  Also part of the routine is that she carries whatever throw toy she has in her mouth from the last catch home with her, and drops it in the driveway.

It's a sweet gig and it totally works.  I suspect Adam probably had this exact same thought in the Garden Of Eden.  But as we all know, he got burned pretty bad.  I think the main lesson of that biblical episode was that "Fellas, you're doomed for the duration of the world to be lulled into complacency about how swell your world is, while unbeknownst to you, the females in your life are particularly unsatisfied.  This discrepancy does not bode well for you and I'm sorry, but there's very little you can do about it."

Apparently the lesson that has been served about a hundred triillion times since that initial enactment has been served onto me by a female in my life and then compounded by the fact that this particular female is also a canine eager to top it off with some dogly head games.  I don't stand a chance.

Last night on the way home, she dropped her toy about 50 yards from the house.  WTF, this has never happened.  I went back and picked it up.  But not before I gave her the business - needed to let her know this isn't how we do things and who the boss is.  Point communicated, one time deal, then.  (Complacent, stupid male am I.)

Swell. That was so much fun that tonight, she drops it about 3 blocks from home.  She obviously knows what she's doing, because while I must turn around to go pick up the stupid-ass glowing frisbee from the middle of the street, she books home and waits for me.  You know the old saying about how it's better to remain silent and let others think you a fool than to open your mouth and remove all doubt?  I didn't say a thing when I got there.

Offer you an apple, boss?

She's obviously pushing my damn buttons.  It's pointless for me to argue that I'm anything other than that archetypical complacent male, caught totally off-guard.  I'm at a loss and that's why I'm reaching out . . . . If you think you understand even one ounce of female dog psychology, please shed some light on this situation.  I feel unbelievably vulnerable, and my fear is that it's going to get worse before it gets better.


Barb Chamberlain, Bike Style Spokane said...

Not a dog whisperer, but I'm a parent. When you do it for them you teach them that you'll do it for them and they stop doing it for themselves.

What if you just pedaled sloooowly onward and didn't stop? She might realize you weren't as well-trained as she thought you were and go back and pick it up for you.

Anonymous said...

I don't see the problem. She got tired of running with a frisbee in her mouth, wouldn't you? Why would a dog realize that leaving her toy behind is a problem?

Pat S said...

Thanks Barb, may give that a try as it might give me a clue as to what's going on. But my sense is that once she's dropped it, she's done with it. I've tried the "go get your friz!" (friz as in frisbee) routine, but to no avail. She's definitely trying to make some kind of point. Your "sloooowly" comment sparked an idea, though. Maybe she's protesting about me riding home too fast. That will be an easy one to test.

Anon, she's brought it home dozens upon dozens of times before. Why the change? Tonight when we were done playing, I had her drop it and then picked it up and put it in the carrier. She looked at me all sad, like "Wha?? I don't get to carry it home???" And there's no real "problem". In case you hadn't noticed, this is a pretty light-hearted blog. Take a deep breath.