When you’re a dog, there are certain things you learn to do early in life.
Like ask to go outside. This is something every dog does differently. Some jump insistently at the door jamb, scratching at the glass. Others have learned to ring a bell. Some, like Koa, wait until they are positively bursting at the seams, sit silently for 30 seconds and, if no one comes in that time frame, go and pee on the floor. Dogs like Brody are stoic, waiting patiently but insistently at the door and nudging you gently if you have missed the message.
My point is, Brody is pretty laid back about the whole going outside thing. I’d like to go, but no rush, man, when you get a minute.
There are exceptions to this rule, urgent matters that override Brody’s maturing mellow demeanor. Certain extenuating circumstances still trigger Brody’s exuberant Dug-like determination to investigate, like, immediately, and when that happens, all bets are off.
It doesn’t take a lot to trigger this, truth be told. Most vertebrates will do the trick.
So when I see Brody doing the thousand yard stare, intent and purposeful, I hesitate before opening the door, lest an innocent beastie get a horrible drooly surprise.
Particularly when, doing a quick geometric assessment of the angulation of his head, I can determine the target is on the back doormat.
But soft! What light through yonder back door breaks? Tis the east, a lizard basking in the sun!
I have never met such a brave little lizard. Usually, as soon as they figure out they are being coolly evaluated, they skitter off into the bushes, but this one remained. I couldn’t bring myself to open the door even just to shoo him off.
Perhaps it wasn’t bravery, maybe he was just too scared to move, but I like to imagine it was the former. He couldn’t have missed the spectacle of Brody looming over him, hot breath misting on the window in anticipation of a gleeful greeting. But he stayed there for a good five minutes, even scooting over when the shadow started to creep over his back half.
I like to think he was just stubbornly determined to take advantage of this prime basking opportunity, lurking predator or no. Maybe he was simply supremely confident in his running skills, a reincarnated Olympic sprinter, and decided to take his chances and just leave if he was forced to. Or when he felt like it, which fortunately for me happened before Koa took her position at the door. Because when that happens, that door gets opened, no matter what.
What kind of door alarm does your dog use?
Our Weim, Reno, scratches the patio door, then runs back and forth from that to us for as long as it takes. The baby Scottie, Fitz, sits at the door and stares out without making a sound. Fitz is like Koa, if we don’t notice he may decide the kitchen floor is his outside.
Tillie just stares at me. So if I’m really in to some project, it may take a while for the beams to hit my head. grin Trip nose bonks to go out, digs on the door to come in. (I’ve got to figure out how to stop that or I’ll never have a screen door again.) grin
Thomas Dock says
Loki, the less than brilliant English Mastiff, simply stares at me. It’s not a bad system except when I am asleep!
Your lizard reminds me of our local squirrel. I’ve caught him standing on his back two feet, paws on the slider, staring in at the quite agitated cat. Hilarious!
Jessi Jaffe says
Xander stares at me, or if I’m sleeping on the couch he’ll nudge me with his nose. If his need to do his business is particularly pressing I’ll get a “huff” that is neither bark nor snort, just an exhale of air that’s muffled by his lips and flews. He never wants to go out for the sake of investigating other animals.
Boo on the other hand will run to the door and then back to me. She’ll smack me with her paw or, if she really has to go, she’ll scratch at the door so we know she means business. At our house, she doesn’t know when animals are outside. At my mom’s house though, she stalks the sliding glass door, giving mini-barks and snorts and pawing at the glass whenever she sees a rabbit, squirrel, or chipmunk.
Niki Cox says
Sassy will shake her ears or start prancing. If I ask her if she needs to go potty, she’ll shake her ears again as a “yes.” If she was only shaking her ears to get them to stop bothering her, she’ll just lay her head back down. What a smartie.
Molly will stare intensely at me with her little springer tail wagging like some kind of demented helicopter, and as soon as I stand up she’ll head for the door so there’s no confusion about what she needs. True emergencies illicit the faintest, most polite wine she can muster.
Georgia Jewel says
Shorty rings a bell if no one’s in the room with him. Its a pretty cool trick he learned in about 5 minutes.
Step one- Sit on human with a solid butt-slam (if there are not seated humans, sit on the foot area)
Step two- squirm off petting attempts and stare intentently
Step three (optional)- if human has not said the word “potty” or otherwise made a move to stand up, slap in face with paw whilst simultaneously executing bunny kicks in stomach
Kristen Seymour says
Both of ours are historically pretty chill, but lately, I guess the squirrels and lizards and birds in the back yard have been taunting them particularly badly, because OH MY GOD. The shrieks and barks and scratching at the glass and jumping that’s been going on is enough to drive even a very understanding dog owner nuts. Especially when that happens about an hour before it’s time to get up. There’s no white noise app in the world that’ll block out a howling Hollie dog.
I would have never believed that a dog could ring a bell when they need to go out, but our grandpuppy rings the bell every time. Saves on worrying about accidents. My daughter can teach her puppy anything. Wonderful dog trainer. I love the lizard squirrel.
jana rade says
Bruin was like that … he would just stand at the door. If somebody saw him and let him out, good. Otherwise … Jasmine will use a bell. If that doesn’t work (people are sleeping) she’ll come a whine into your ear. If that doesn’t work, she’ll slap your face with a paw 🙂
chase just waits until you let storm out. storm rings the bells. 1.5 million times a day. then, when she’s let into the garage, she stands in front of the shelf by the back door. ball? ball? ball? frisbee? ball? ball? if i didn’t know better, i would swear she’s part border collie.
Elliott Garber says
We have all sorts of lizards around our house in Sicily! I’ll be interested to see how the new kitten responds…