Tuesday, July 14, 2009

Temper Tantrum

Each time I go to spend some time on this blog lately, something has come up and I haven't been able to. Always one excuse after another lately. The latest excuse? I have spent the last two days bathing my dog and it is my own darn fault (you know how hard it is for me to admit that?!) I think I'm more angry with myself than anything else.

I spent last weekend and a few days last week away to write some exams. I stayed in a hotel because it is a two hour drive to Toronto for me and I wanted to have those extra few hours to sleep (and this weekend was Honda Indy Weekend and traffic was brutal!). I left the dogs at home because the exams were so long (one day of 7 hours, the next day of 4 or 5 hours) and I didn't want to leave them in the car for that long!

I normally take one dog, Zeus, to Toronto but since I didn't take him, he got into a pout. I have been taking him to TO every weekend for the last six weeks; we've had a wonderful time and our relationship is stronger than ever before. I'm sure you can imagine the look on his face when I left without him! Well this weekend he sulked and put up a big fuss for the entire time I was away. Unfortunately everyone who was around played right into his hands (yes, I've spoken with them and explained why this was bad for them to do ...) and since I was away, I couldn't address it until after I got home.

The day I came back (Sunday) Z was hilarious to watch - he was like a little excited puppy. I said hello to the dogs for ten or fifteen minutes and went to unpack my bags. I was going to take the dogs for a walk to the pond and play fetch for a while but wanted to put a load of laundry in first. I am quite aware that this is not recommended and that you are supposed to spend some superduper quality time with them immediately, but figured the 10-15 mins I had spent greeting them would carry for an hour until I got settled and changed. I left the dogs outside with my hubby and a few other people.

What does Z do? Have you guessed it yet?

He went right out and pestered the skunk that has been living near our barn for the last few months. He had been aware of the skunk for months and hadn't bothered it. In fact, there are often multiple skunks around and for the last three years he's never bothered any of them (including the one with distemper we had to shoot this spring that spent an entire day wandering around our yard!). How impressed was I?

I have a gut feeling that this was a temper tantrum, but I can't really prove it. What do you think? Have you ever experienced tantrums with your own dog(s)?


GoLightly said...


Yup, he got even.
How Could You!

Pay NO Attention to me??
Well, now you HAVE to.
Smart dog!

Anonymous said...

IMO dogs really live in the "now".

They do not hold grudges and they do not have temper tantrums.

Some people do : (

The skunk was just plan "go for it" fun!!


Lacy said...

w00fs, me hangs me head when they wont let me go sumwhere..today me peed on the chair but it wuz their fault, they hadnt lemme out in 7 hrs..served 'em rite..

b safe,

GoLightly said...

Cause and effect is very important to them too. They can think ahead. Not very fair, but they do understand simple trains of repeated behaviour. I was packing for my first trip together with my old red rescue dog. She was never far from me.
All of a sudden, I couldn't find her ANYwhere.
She was in the rented van, on top of the suitcase.
She'd never seen the van, never seen me pack a suitcase.
How did she "know"?
I wasn't Going anywhere, without her.

I think (jmo) Zeus knows cause and effect.

Cause = Attention.
Skunk = Attention.
Simple math, they can do.

They have a sense of fairness, and jealousy/jockeying for Mom's attention is common, too.
If Blaze decides not to retrieve, suddenly Flip is perfect at it. Then Blaze decides to be perfect again..

Many people hold grudges and have temper tantrums. Yeah, me too. Not as often anymore, thank gawd, and never at my dogs.
Uniquely human?
Not so much.

DogsDeserveFreedom said...

I had originally planned on taking him with me to work this week for some fun time, but he smells. I have brought my other gal instead :)

Anon - just because dogs live in the "now" (which I agree with, btw), doesn't mean they can't have tantrums ...

Lacy - that happens sometimes. 7 hours is a long time ... some days I don't even make it that long!!

GoLightly - I agree. They understand cause and effect (if they didn't, you wouldn't be able to train them with rewards!), they think ahead and they can problem solve.

It bothers me because usually I'm much more in tune with my furry four leggers and don't give them the opportunity to fail like that.

On the bright side, I do have a great method to get rid of skunk smell! Peroxide, Baking Soda and Dawn Dish Soap (yes, it HAS to be Dawn - I tried three other brands).

mytwh said...

I do think dogs are a lt more smarter and have more brain capacity then people give them credit for.

Point in fact, Dominic has seperation anxiety. (Which is A LOT better btw!!!) The first day after the weekend (monday) when we get home from work he's awful. Won't listen, won't do what you ask, just has a crappy little attitude. Tuesday is better. By Weds, Thurs and Fri he's great, back to being happy and listening, doing what is asked of him. Then Monday comes and we start all over. I really think he is upset on Monday when we suddenly leave him again. It happens every week. It's almost like "screw you, you left me".