Dogs are “creatures of habit” but then, aren’t we all?
Most of us, if not all of us, like our routines to work as usual and can get a little perturbed if something changes. Ray is certainly no different in that he can really get confused if things don’t happen the way they are supposed to!
Just the other day, I came up from the basement and, as usual*, Ray associated this event with him getting a biscuit as long as he goes into his den. He duly wandered into his den and sat down. The routine was complete………. but was it? Why was he now following me around and looking rather lost? Why did he keep hovering around Carol’s bedroom door?
On a normal morning Carol gets up, while I am still downstairs,and goes out into the back garden with him so that he can “take care of business”. She then gives him his breakfast which is followed by a piece of rutabaga. After all this has happened, I come upstairs and give him his biscuit.
Ray is clearly confused when things do not happen in the correct sequence, and one can only guess what was going through his mind (ref 2nd paragraph). It could be “What happened to my breakfast?” or “Is this it?” or “Where’s my rutabaga?”
Being aware of these circumstances, and as there were no noises coming from Carol’s room, I gave Ray his breakfast followed by a piece of rutabaga. Moments later Carol appeared and I let her know that he had his breakfast, rutabaga and biscuit so everything was done. “Has he been outside yet?” (Ooops!)
I took him outside and, after he had satisfied nature’s “urges”, he rushed back to the house. As soon as I opened the back door, he dashed in and went straight to Carol with clear expectations. I really didn’t know whether it was a case of “Hi Carol! Can I have my breakfast now?” or whether it was a conscious attempt at working the system with the goal of perhaps a second breakfast!
His ploy, if that is what it was, did not work and so Ray eventually settled down and I had to finish off something in the basement. If nothing had changed from this point on, it could have developed into a typical day, but things did change. As I came up once again from the basement, I saw Ray disappearing into his den and sitting down!
Why was I surprised? His routine is very clear. He goes outside after which he gets breakfast and a piece of rutabaga. Upon his return and as soon as he hears me switching off basement lights, he goes into his den for his biscuit! This can really get quite complicated!
*See Posts “Back to Crate Training” – Apr 25, 2015; “The Biscuit Routine” – May 9, 2015; “Toast Anybody” – June 22, 2015