The Inner Dog?

When Ray rings the bell on the back door, or when he just stands staring at the back door, I of course open it for him. Usually, he immediately goes out, down the steps, and into the garden where he takes care of his bodily needs. Sometimes he may follow some recent squirrel scents, or he simply does a garden perimeter check. It is probably fair to say that, on many occasions, he does all those things! 

Recently, however, he has taken to going through the back door and simply standing there at the top of the steps. Following his apparent line of sight is….. nothing ….. at least that I can see! He is staring at the neighbors’ back garden and patio, but there is nobody around. Is he confused?

Of course there could be any number of reasons why he is so focused, many of which cannot be picked up by my senses. Perhaps a rabbit recently hopped by, or squirrels were out in the neighbors garden trying to remember where they had buried whatever it was they had buried! A few hours later, Ray would no doubt still be picking up all the scents from their activities.

I’ve known Ray for almost 2 years now and feel that I do have a little insight into his “inner workings”! Assuming that some of my thought processes may have rubbed off on him, I think that when he goes through the back door and comes to an immediate stop, he may well be thinking “What did I come out here for?”

Ray spends a very significant amount of time simply “chilling” so perhaps he is really into analyzing past events. Perhaps he is so comfortable in this stress free environment that he gives himself the luxury of time to meditate and get in touch with his inner dog. Perhaps when he is standing on the back porch just staring off into space, he is really contemplating life and all its inherent idiosyncrasies.

Ray is a Shepherd/Rottweiler X but I see him as a predominantly Shepherd body with a Rotti head. His personality tends to lead me to Rotti, so there may be a Rotti brain controlling a Shepherd body. On some dog IQ charts, the Shepherd is just behind the Rotti however, in training ability, the Shepherd is apparently ahead of the Rotti. Ray could justify being totally confused!

The next time he wanders out and comes to a total stop on the back porch, I think I’ll stop speculating and let him work out whatever it is he is trying to work out. There are some things that I simply cannot ever know.  I’ll assume that he’s just confused…………………. or getting in touch with his inner dog!


19 thoughts on “The Inner Dog?

  1. Awww.. such a wonderful post.. It really touched my heart to see how much you think & care about Ray! From the comments here, I assume you haven’t adopted him? So well, is he a rescue dog? I mean, that’s awesome! You have such a kind heart.. People like you are very rare.. I’m so very glad to have come across your blog! 🙂
    Ah.. now I’m missing my dog.. (my female German Shepherd- Sweety, passed away some 2 years back.. & I haven’t yet gotten over that fact!)

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    • Yes we adopted him in March 2013. Yes he was rescued by our local Humane Society. He was a stray and displayed a lot of emotional issues. Fear aggression. Startle response. Did not want to be touched. Was frightened of people and other dogs. Had to be medicated due to high anxiety. Had Stage 2 Heartworm. No evidence of any training. Totally anti-social. Had no license tag, no microchip, no other i.d. Was not reported missing and nobody claimed him. He got off to a bit of a rough start, but is enjoying his life now and we’re so proud to have him as part of our family 🙂

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  2. I think your comment about his senses that humans may not have, or at least not as keen, is probably what is going on when dogs just stand there. I know our little guy Smokey has an incredibly keen sense of smell. When he goes out for the first time in the day I see him just stand there, at times for quite some time, with his nose slightly tipped up in the air. I believe he is processing all these smells from within the yard and wafting buy from the surrounding area. Then once he is done processing he moves on and takes care of his business. Or, like you said maybe he forgot where he was….

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    • I can imagine that if my nose was as sensitive as his, then I would stand and process everything before moving on. Whereas our world is very visual, I believe a dog’s world is pretty much dictated by scents which would therefore explain the ritual!

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  3. I can’t remember how old Ray is – but judging from his recent photo with the football, I’m guessing not ancient yet! A very old dog can have senior moments, and seem to forget where he is or worse – where You are!
    Otherwise, perhaps he is just dong the same thing at the same time in his own routine, or maybe simply having a good sniff of all the scents, before deciding what to do next. Basically just being a Dog 🙂

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  4. It’s the “signals”. Ray is really the pathfinder for the master race of space alien colony locator exploration scouts. He’s waiting. One day the signal will come and he will lead you to the meadow at the edge of town where “they” will come. You will then begin to understand Ray’s motivations. Of course the aliens will cook and eat you and Ray will then trot off to find a squirrel to chase.

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  5. Ray says thanks for the compliment. As for giving him a fuss, the only permission that you would need is his (usually obtained with a whole pile of treats ready for him)! As for breed characteristics? Both Shepherds and Rottis are fiercely protective. We got the double dose!

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  6. I sometimes wonder if dogs get confused when they are cross breeds, you know, which one takes precedent.
    Maggie is a sprollie, first cross, so we got the whacky end of both. Now ten, we think the springer is coming more to the surface as instead of slowing down, she’s getting more bouncy!
    From your photos, I think Ray is gorgeous, Rotti or GSD, I’d still give him a fuss (with the owner’s permission of course!) 🙂

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