Monday, January 10, 2011

The strange incident of the barking dog

This morning at 6:55, Tinky-Winky barked once.

I immediately woke up from whatever stage of sleep I was, and leapt to her assistance. Cesar would have been horrified, but you see, Tinky-Winky doesn't bark. She used to bark at the door, but now she doesn't even do that. And there is only one situation when she uses that particular one-bark call: when she needs my help. So I leapt to her assistance... and couldn't figure out what she wanted.

When I responded, she was standing in the hallway, so I assumed she wanted out, except that's not how she asks to go out. First of all she never asks to go out, because she has a bladder like a Swiss bank vault. We've been together more than five years and she's never once asked to go pee. If she asks out it's because she has diarrhea, and then she doesn't bark, she cries, and you know you have to get her outside fast. I learned that the hard way. But she wasn't crying, and in fact she wasn't even looking at the door. Actually, she lay down as soon as she saw I was up. I asked her if she wanted out, no reaction. I don't know if she really understands that much English, but I certainly understand enough dog to know she didn't want out.

I went into the kitchen and checked her food and water. She had both. And she didn't follow me into the kitchen, so clearly that's not what she had been after. She might have wanted a chew, since we're out of pig's ears and she's been sad about that, but she knows where all her chews are and she wouldn't have woken me for that.

Since food, water and walks are the only things she ever really asks for, I ran out of ideas. So I petted her and went back to bed, and she didn't object. Whatever she had been after, clearly, I had met her needs.


My best guess is that she dreamed that she was lost, and did one of those things where you wake up and you don't know where you are and whether the dream was real. So she barked because she thought she was lost, and as soon as I was there, her world was back in order.

There's a saying that "the more I know people, the more I love my dog." Conversely, the more I know my dog, the less I like people. They're so needy.


Bibby said...

I love the comment about the Swiss bank bladder. Mine can hold poo better than a kleptomaniacs trunk at a garage sale. Bear sometimes does this and periodically will howl - and I never quite know why.

Anonymous said...

I had to fly down to southern California to pick up a truck we bought on auction and decided that it might be nice to have doggy company. Since my dog is a registered service dog I took him along. I had no trouble checking in and going through security. When I got The dog ( an English Chocolate Lab)got the window seat. He is a big dog and when sitting can look over the top of the seats. People boarding where having second looks and laughing as they boarded. They saw this dog looking at them from over the top of the seat. The dog barked once when we were getting off the ground. Pawed the window once but otherwise was better behaved than any passenger. It was great having him along and have him help me drive back with the truck.