Monday, June 19, 2006

A dog's world view

From here he watches over the birdfeeders and pond. From the corner of his eye he knows if the groundhog has ventured out from beneath the neighbor's garage to raid the vegetable garden. He might consider making chase, but advancing age has lessened any chance of his being a real threat to any furry creature, be it woodchuck or bunny, or marauding squirrel with a taste for sunflower. Most importantly, he can see the bend in the road - the point at which his defended territory begins. He orients himself to that place where children on bicycles (or heaven forbid skateboards!) and dogs on leashes enter his realm. He lies in wait and worries the honeybees working clover until he spots an interloper on his street. Then the show begins and he is up and running like a young pup. Pulling at the lead that allows him run of the length of the yard, looking to all the world like he is about to do a cartwheel off the lead and launch himself into the street. The neighborhood kids know to ignore his silly antics, but to the unsuspecting he looks quite ferocious. He likes it that way and seems to take a certain amount of pride in the number of dog walkers (especially those with little yippy dogs) that he can turn away and convince to retreat out of his territory and back the way they came.

For all the years we've had him, we've tried to break him of this habit, of being so ridiculously protective of his place, but to no avail. When he's finished his clowning he looks to me for the scolding he knows to expect, and smiles in his doggy way at having been bad. How can I fault him for protecting his pack and his place and for taking such joy in it?


Michelle Lewis said...


Yes, all the 11 years we have had our *pups* they do the same. When we got the new bay window it allowed better view to the court, the boys took post to alarm us of the neighbors' comings and goings. I have too given up, and at this stage of the game, any exercise is good exercise! And they are so proud of themselves.

Your pooch is so handsome. I love the gray, much like my fellows, I think it makes them look like distinguished old gentleman :)

pablo said...

Sounds like a perfect dog to me. (I have one of those little yappy dogs, and that seems to be the only thing he is good at doing.)

Susan Gets Native said...

What a good boy.

I think the only way Nellie could protect us and our property is if the interloper tripped over her as she flung herself down for a belly rub.

Endment said...

He sounds absolutely delightful - so long as one belongs to "his" family!
Great perspective from the dog's view!

LauraHinNJ said...

Michelle: You're right about the exercise! Buddy's favorite spot is his bed in the middle of the living room - lately he hardly wants to get up off it to go to his other bed at night!

Pablo: Yes... he is perfect in every way a dog can be, usually. ;-)

Endment: Thanks - he is a good boy - I like to call him, "deputy dog" when he puts on his tough act.

Susan: Too funny! Buddy is not one for bellyrubs - only when he is very, very sleepy.

puhpaul said...

My old dog feels the same. She lies on my deck and surveys her domain, waiting for someone to come down the back lane. With arthritic elbows from too many frisbee flips, she doesn't like to waste her energy just barking at any-old-thing, so she lets her younger partner do the major amount of fence patrolling and only decides to help out on the defenses when she feels the threat is big enough.

Thanks for the post, paul