Why is it that Shiva’s energy always gets a boost when the temperatures start lowering and the skies are darkening? Why can’t she exhaust herself in the warmer, lighter months and then hibernate like the rest of us? It’s not fair that she seems to pick up speed the second the mercury drops close to zero, when rational humans stay inside and make hot chocolate.
Call it paranoia but I am not comfortable taking her to the dog park when it’s so dark out. Even with her fancy high visibility vest I worry about letting her run around in the woods. It’s not just coyotes – though they are a concern – but I don’t like it when I can’t see what’s coming. It doesn’t feel safe for either of us. The other evening all I could hear was an owl and the crunching of gravel beneath my feet. Every rustle of leaves had me jumping.
Back on the leash Shiva went.
Unfortunately, leash walks aren’t enough to tire out this crazy pooch. She makes it pretty clear that forty-five minutes of meandering around on the sidewalk on a weekday night isn’t going to cure her of cabin fever. Last week on Facebook I shared some of Shiva’s more frequent attention-getting antics.
First, she typically starts with a stare. She’ll stand directly in front of me, brown eyes solemn and boring into my guilt complex. If that doesn’t work, she’ll start licking whatever surface of my skin is available. Hands, feet, even pants if that’s all she can reach. When that doesn’t get her what she wants she might try a light whine followed by leaping onto the book or keyboard that is usually preventing me from looking at her. The nerve.
To combat this I turned my back to her, showing her that jumping on me isn’t the way to earn my attention. Naturally, this only drove her to up the ante. Once hitting all the keys on my laptop only gets her silence, Shiva is forced to switch her tactics to something less subtle. This is the point at which she will find a toy, such as a good heavy antler, run around with it, and then smack it heavily on the floor. On Friday this toy happened to be a Kong and she replaced the floor with my foot. There is nothing like hard rubber on one’s toes.
I really had to congratulate her on her aim.
Is it cruel that I continued the game after this point? With all the effort she had put in already, I couldn’t help but be curious as to what she would try next. I figured it had to be one of either two things. When normal loud noises and licking doesn’t work, she often resorts to activities for which she knows will get her in hot water. Such as counter-surfing, or the always popular game of chase the cat.
Both of these would normally get me responding, the former more than the latter. The Cat, after all, can defend himself just fine. Shiva often punishes herself by continuing the game longer than he likes, no human intervention required.
I decided to wait her out, just to see what she would try next. Regrettably, my PH chose this moment to walk in the door so I never got to find out what comes after feline wrangling on Shiva’s list of “things that get the human’s attention.”
There is always next time. And with winter only beginning, there will definitely be a next time.
Does your dog have a list of techniques to snare your attention? Do they amuse you as much as they do me?