The dog bounced up and down at the back door as if he wanted to jump through the window glass, absolutely frantic to get outside.
Well, if he’d heard another dog, then we certainly didn’t want to let him out. We tried to distract him with a chunk of banana in his Kong, but he would not be consoled or diverted. Agitated and full of dread, he cowered around the edges of the room looking over his shoulder at an unseen menace, following Ann into the laundry room. Pressed into the angle between the washing machine and dryer, he hid his head in her robe.
“What in the world has gotten into the dog?” we both wondered out loud.
“Maybe he’s sick and needs to do something outside we wouldn’t be happy for him to do inside” I suggested, but we hoped he wouldn’t bolt off down the road when we opened the back door for him, after another dog. Or a bear.
But no, it was more a matter of him avoiding inside than being attracted to something outside. He trod straight to the far side of the drive, up by the bank, and just sat there looking back toward the house, trembling.
After five minutes or so, he hadn’t budged. So. It wasn’t to puke or poop he wanted out so badly. I called him in. He refused. I threatened. He refused. How very odd. I gave up and left him peering fretfully at the back door as I closed it to get back to whatever it was I was doing at the computer.
An icon had apparently been flashing on the toolbar while we were in conversation in the kitchen and the dog in the front room in his usual position between the computer and wood stove. Instant message–not something that happens often around here. It was only about a week ago a GoogleTalk chat invitation came in, and the little BaBink! notification sound went off, and the dog…
So THAT’S it! There is something about that sound that makes him crazy. Now that I think about it, he acted nuts like this then, and I figured out it was the GoogleTalk sound. Doesn’t seem very high pitched to me, and it certainly doesn’t imitate another creature’s growl or bark. But whatever it is, the dog loathes it, and when offered a chance to come back inside yesterday, he made a bee line for the pen, and put himself in Puppy Jail rather than come in.
Hmmmm. We tend to reward the good rather than punish the bad behavior, but heck, the avoidance of hearing a Ba-Bink! recording would be a powerful inticement to one certain dog I know to comply with commands. But nah. What will happen is that I’ll keep my speakers turned off from now on lest we have a dog that needs psychological counceling twice a week.
I actually am thinking about “rewarding” him for tolerating such sounds, Pavlovian-style. I’ll keep some kibble at the desk, just in case. Might work. I’ll let you know.
Anybody else have a “dog sounds” story similar to this? Tell me Tsuga is not alone in his weirdness.