Monday, September 19, 2011

Learning from Lena

Although I realize that I have already posted today, I had another interesting thing to add and I just didn't feel like editing and re-posting. 

As you know, I have a dog.  She is a two year old Rat Terrier/Papillon mix.  I do not have any experience with either of these breeds in specific, so I rely on web resources such as Wikipedia for my information on their expected behavioral traits. 

One thing that I can say for certain, when you mix the two, you get a lot of energy.  Whether she is waking for the day, being released from her kennel after a varied length of confinement or just jumping down off the couch, she is always "ready to go."

In her limited vocabulary, the word "outside" has special cache.  Merely utter the word in a hushed voice and she will spring forth and bound to the door expecting you to immediately follow.  If you do not follow quickly enough, she will bark.  Incessantly. 

For this reason, I normally wait until I am already walking to the door before I say the magic word. 

At my parents house, the excitement is tripled as she knows that release to the outdoors is unfettered by a collar and leash as it is when we are at my house.  During daytime hours, Lena usually has a companion in the form of Thor, one of my parents' Jack Russells.  Their female JRT, Pippi, does not share their enthusiasm and will usually only join them if she really needs to go out.

For Lena and Thor, the need to be outdoors is not always driven by bladder or bowels.  There are squirrels and chipmunks to chase, dirt to eat, smelly things to roll in.  Lena bounds into the yard with the energy of a jackrabbit.  Seriously.  She SPRINGS into the back flower bed and mulch flies in all directions.  Thor is usually bit less crazy, but when there are critters to be found, he is never far behind.

As of late, the anticipation of this release has caused a change in Lena's morning behavior.  When her internal clock (and the sunlight through the window) tells her that it is time to wake up, she joyously shares this information with me, usually by licking my face and leaping on top of me.  Cute, right?

Normally, this is enough.  She patiently waits until I drag myself out of bed and make my way to the door. 

For some reason, she has lately added incessant barking to her repertoire.  In my face.  Try as I might to reason with her, she will not be denied.  It has proven too effective for her. 

I have now decided to take up this tactic for my own life.  From now on, when I want cars to move faster, I will honk repeatedly.  When I need to get the attention of an inattentive cashier, I will make beeping noises at the top of my lungs.  When I want to get an annoying Sirius XM Radio sales clerk off the phone, I will bark like a Rat Terrier/Papillon.

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