For this assessment for the Diploma in Canine Psychology (with The ISCP in the UK) I had to write about 2 dogs in different environments. I was to put myself into the ummm… paws of the dogs and write from their perspective. The question asked that I paid close attention to the body language of the dogs and how they responded to different stimuli.
I am a 9-year old Labrador, living with a younger Bernese Mountain Dog, Louie, who’s just 3. My name is Oscar. Every day our human takes us out for a walk around our area. I’m quite happy padding alongside my human, but Louie likes to pull ahead and explore all the different sights and sounds.
Today, as we went round the corner to the park, there were already 2 other dogs playing there. They were off the lead, one was busy playing “Fetch” while the other was sniffing around following a trail. Possibly that of that smelly ginger tom that always likes doing his business in the grass right out in the open. Dirty, smelly cat, if I didn’t have arthritis in my joints I’d chase him into the next town myself. He’s always hanging about our neighbour’s house at night, serenading her 2 indoor female cats. He must not have been “done”, because his pee really stinks!
The 2 strange dogs saw us and the little scruffy-looking one ran right up to us. Louie and he engaged in some butt-sniffing and greeting. The scruffy dog came over to me, but I wasn’t interested in meeting anyone new, as I was rather tired after my walk. So I let him sniff at my muzzle, and then I turned my head away to indicate my disinterest. He got the hint, ran back to Louie and tried to engage him in a game of chase. However, Louie and I were on our leads, so it wasn’t a game of chase so much as a game of pull and lunge on Louie’s part. The scruffy little dog kept prancing and dancing around, yipping with excitement, and Louie started yipping too.
The other strange dog, a pit bull type, big, brown and muscular, came running up to us then to see what the fuss was all about. She was young, about Louie’s age, and she was rather more cautious than the scruffy bitsa. She gave Louie’s bum a perfunctory sniff, then decided to come and say hello to me. By now I was feeling rather tired after watching these youngsters cavorting around, so I sat back on my haunches and let out a big yawn. The pit bull thingy came right up to me before I had a chance to close my mouth again. Whoa! Manners, girl! I was having none of it, so I gave her a nice big lip-curl and a snarl, and she backed right off. She seemed more interested in the ball she’d been playing Fetch with, anyway, so off she went back to her human, asking for the ball to be thrown.
My human decided to move on, after Louie and the scruffy dog had finished their play-bows and half-hearted game. I got up and started walking again, and after a few words to Louie, he said Bye! to the scruffy dog, and started walking on too. The scruffy dog wasn’t giving up so easily though. He kept following us, running up to us and around us, and performing his play-bows to Louie. Louie, the silly boy that he is, reciprocated by returning play-bows, and danced around so much my human nearly got tangled up in his lead. The scruffy dog followed us for a good distance, ignoring his human’s calls to go back to her…I was just about to give him a warning nip and tell him to bugger off home, when he suddenly got the hint, gave us a parting bark, and ran back to his human in the park.
When I get home I’m going to plonk right down and refuse to move from the sofa. I’ve had enough excitement for the day.
(Tomorrow: Part 2)