Saturday, December 09, 2006

Does anybody out there speak Dog?

More so than the other dogs, Butch walks to the rhythm of his own drummer. Usually, if one dog wants to go outside, the others go, too. But if there's only one who'd rather not go at that particular time, thanks anyway, it’ll be Butch.

Throughout his life he’s been the one to go off into a dark, distant room to take a nap all by himself. He can be very social when he wants to be, so it seems to be a matter of what kind of mood he’s in at any given moment.

Kadi is pretty easy to read. I can tell by the expression on her face whether she’s happy, sad, anxious, jealous or totally ticked off about something. With Butch (even when he had eyes) it’s hard to tell what he’s thinking. I’ve always suspected that he doesn’t think too much about anything. Maybe that's why he's normally such a happy-go-lucky pooch.

Every now and then, though, Butch gets an idea. It's usually food related, but sometimes it has to do with something that requires me to open the door for him. When he gets something fixed in his mind, he's the most overbearing mutt I’ve ever seen.

He paces. He stands directly in front of me and wags his tail as hard as he can. He makes little grrff-ing noises. He steps on my feet and grabs my wrist in his mouth, sliming my arm and pulling me to go with him. He doesn’t give up until I give in.

Last night I was comfortable on the recliner end of the sofa, my feet propped up and Kadi lying next to me. Butch had been across the room napping on the dog bed, but he suddenly got up and went into his Demando-Dog routine. If I tried to scratch his back, he turned in a circle. If I tried to rub his head, he grabbed my arm. He yipped and grffffed. Loudly.

I told him repeatedly to settle down. He didn’t. I asked, “Do you want to go outside?” He made no move toward the door. It crossed my mind that he wanted a treat, but I didn’t ask about that. I didn't want to say the T-word because I didn’t want to reward him for behavior that bordered on being aggressive.

I was getting annoyed. “BUTCH!” I said sternly, “WHAT do you WANT?” He stopped and stood perfectly still, his ears at attention, and said quietly, “Rrrut-rrrut.” Then he waited.

I turned to look at Kadi, who’d raised herself to a sitting position and was watching the action intently. I shook my head in frustration and said, “Kadi, what is he saying?” She looked me straight in the eye and said, "Rrrut-rrrut.”

Yeah, that's what I thought he said.

I don’t know what the hell he wanted, but I gave each of them a rawhide chew and they let me read my book.


  1. When Mabel does that, she wants to lay on the sofa with me. You have me laughing really hard at the pup's antics. Your two are certainly entertaining! Holly

  2. So THAT's what "Rrrut-rrrut" means?

    My little dog is so established in his routines that I usually know what he wants by the time of day. At least I think I know. Since he doesn't have another dog around to interpret for him he likely has trained me to pay attention to what time it is.

  3. Holly, Kadi's prompt answer made me laugh, too. It also made me feel as if she thinks I'm stupid.

    Annie, I know what you mean about established routines; we have them, too. Neither dog will let me forget part of the routine, but this was completely off schedule. Leave it to Butch: When he DOES think, he thinks outside the box.

  4. Velvet, you have me giggling again! I am certain all of my dogs think of me as the idiot with the food and the ride to the creek.

    Both Maggie and Mabel have shown their impatience with me. They will roll their eyes, groan and lay down.

    Hope you, Butch and Kadi have a lovely Sunday.

  5. Holly, LOL, I swear I almost wrote that Kadi rolled her eyes, but I was afraid nobody'd believe me. I'm so relieved to hear that other dogs give their owners "that look." If Kadi could speak Human/English, I'm sure her response would have been, "Uh...Doh! He said, 'Rrrut-rrrut.'"

  6. LOL! Spot is both impossible to read and also predictable, depending on how much he wants to drive me nuts at any particular time.

    Now you know what that word means, better remember it next time!

  7. This makes me want to go home and give Cheyenne a treat!

  8. Really Laughing Out Loud! In my mind I could just picture - and hear - it happening. You gotta love 'em.

    All these wonderful dog stories are edging me towards the decision to get another dog. . . need to decide by mid-January.

  9. Janet, it sounds like Spot's plan is to keep you on your toes, whatever it takes. It also sounds like he's good at it.

    Alison, by all means, give the girl a treat. And pray she doesn't get too specific about what kind.

    Sunflower, you're gonna get hooked. I can see you getting drawn in closer...and closer...and closer.

  10. Yes, Velvet, I think my husband is girding himself for the inevitable, LOL. I miss having a dog underfoot. Plus think of all the great blog stories and photos that would come of having a new puppy!

  11. Well, Sunflower, I, for one, can never get enough dog stories.

  12. I forgot to mention, Spot demands his treats, he doesn't ask for them. He'll thump his arm on the floor and keep doing it till I look at him, and if I look away again he'll keep it up. I ask him if he wants something, and he goes "Whuff". I say, "are you demanding?", he'll bark. Then I go get him a rawhide chew. He has me trained.

  13. I think I've been saying "What do you want?" for two days now. Cap gets so excited, paces like a caged animal, jumps up every time I think of moving and like Butch slimes my arm from time to time. This is when I start thinking of drugging my poor dog with chamomile or something. Here Cappy its just a ball of cheese I swear it, it's just cheese NOW EAT IT!

    yup, gotta love the Butch stories.
    I know exactly what you mean when you said on my blog that dogs teach love and that we get more out of giving to them than getting love from them. I think that was God's plan in making them, the more we love them the more we understand ourselves and maybe we even get a better understanding of the world around us...maybe just a little better.

    smiles to you and yours,


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