Donna is visiting family with Willow, while I have remained behind in Pittsburgh with Daedalus to pack and show the place. The Jason sweepstakes (hat tip for the great term) have ended, and I may talk about that further in the near future. Suffice it to say, it turned out very well for me, and I’m glad the stress and monumental effort involved in juggling dozens of phone calls per week and plane trips is over.
As a dog-obsessed person, I am always observing the behavior of my dogs and trying to guess what they are thinking and what motivates them. Dogs are great creatures. They are simple in their basic needs: food and companionship. Different dogs have different levels of needs in both categories. For Daedalus, the food need is paramount. It trumps all else. For Willow, the companionship need is paramount. She would rather go hungry than be left alone. Not that we give her that choice, but she will abandon her food even when hungry for the chance to be petted or to not be left behind when we leave.
So this weekend has given me some time to reflect on what is going on in Daedal’s head. We watched Donna and Willow pull away in the car around noon. Daedal followed them with his eyes for a little bit before going back to his sniffing. Food trumps companionship. Later that evening, whenever we went out, he would go to the end of the walkway and look out on the street. This wasn’t his usual pattern, so I assumed he wanted to go on a walk or something. A white car (not the same white car Donna drives) passed by and parked. Daedal went freakin nuts. He never cares about neighbors parking, so I think he must have thought it was Donna and Willow. Every time I took him out, he would continue to stand watch for them. Even though food trumps companionship, it was sweet to see how much he missed his pack.
A secondary need for Daedalus is comfort. During the day, he will find the one sliver of sunlight to bask in. I’ve even seem him get up and move to follow the sliver as it progresses across the floor. I normally keep the shades closed to keep it cooler, but I had to lift it a little today to give him a bit more sunlight (below). Also in search of comfort, he enjoys sleeping on pillows even when on the bed or the couch.
At the dog park, Daedalus is like a dog apart. He may greet a dog or two, but for the most part he is interested in sniffing. He immediately goes to the borders of whatever enclosure we’re in and will sniff around the edges. Most dogs will stick around the center, where the action is, but Daedalus prefers to wander.
Daedalus is an odd mixture of dominant and submissive, so when a dominant dog encounters him, they are often confused. They will try to hump him, which usually prompts Daedal’s characteristic snarl-bark. It sounds kind of vicious, but he never bites so it’s really all warning and show. He only ever escalates with Willow, because Willow is the thorn in his side. The dominant dog will hear this snarl-bark and back off, not knowing what to make of it. Whereas with another dog that might prompt a fight, with Daedal they take it seriously. For a few seconds. Then they come back and try to hump him again, and the process repeats. The thing is, when they do it, Daedal doesn’t give a crap about the perpetrator. He is bothered by the fact that his sniffing is being interrupted. He completely ignores them otherwise.