June 26, 2013

snippets, 6-26-13

Dogs are similar to young kids, study shows. (Pan uses me as "home base" when bigger dogs are picking on him, but my overall impression is that BCs are more like ten-year-olds than five-year-olds.)

The other night Ondine and I were out walking when we spotted a troupe of a half-dozen young children playing in a neighbor's front lawn. A couple adults were sitting in lawn chairs, and another woman was sitting in the back of a pickup truck. We crossed the street to avoid interacting with them, but as we passed, one of the youngest children, probably three years old, came tearing across the street to get to Ondine. I held up my stop-sign hand and said, "Slow down!" The child hesitated a tiny bit, but then kept coming. Ondine was fine with him, as well as with all the other children who quickly followed. Ondine LOVES kids, and most adults, too; after allowing all the children to bop her on the head and tug her ears, she snuck over to the lady in the pickup truck and licked her toes, making her giggle. (I got the distinct impression that she was saying, "Thanks for letting me play with your kids, lady.")

But then I noticed that the grown-ups in the lawn chairs were glowering at us. I wondered if they saw my initial hesitancy as a bad thing, or whether I shouldn't have allowed Ondine to play with their kids at all. I don't know, maybe I was misreading them, but, c'mon, people: First, teach your children not to run across the street. Then teach them not to run directly up to an unfamiliar dog. And then, if they've survived the first two lessons, teach them not to bop unfamiliar dogs on the head. Dogs hate that. (Why don't people know that?) Some dogs, like Ondine, tolerate and forgive these things because they understand that people are ignorant. Some, however, do not.

Oh, another aside: Last night I was checking out Ondine's toenails, which she hates. She snarled and snapped at my fingers. She wasn't being aggressive, she was just telling me to stop. I did stop, but then I tried the "fake crying" trick that Susan used to use with Aidan. Ondine immediately shot up and started licking my face all over, saying, "Oh I'm sorry, sorry, oh I didn't mean it, I'm so sorry." Heh. (I won't do that anymore. I don't believe in playing mind games with dogs. I mean, if it's real, that's one thing, but faking it with someone who trusts you just seems so...underhanded. I don't do "fake throws" or many of the other things people routinely do to tease dogs, either. Ondine and Pan don't really fall for those kinds of tricks anyway.)


  1. AnonymousJune 26, 2013

    Easier to deal with 1st graders than their parents--who all think their oldest child the first one in school) is gifted.

  2. In our neighborhood, people buy those "kids at play" signs and put them in the street and when we drive by them in our car, the kids never...ever...move to the side of the street. They just stand there and glare at the car going by. No one taught them to watch for cars...and, um, get out of the way. Cars are supposed to watch for them. Parents...