Monday, September 12, 2016


I am often asked why Maggie will turn her backside to someone. So I thought it would be a good idea to discuss some of Maggie’s behaviors. Although Maggie is a therapy dog she is first a family dog. Maggie turns her backside to people because she wants to be pet on one of her favorite spots (her backside where she can’t reach herself). When Maggie and another dog approach each other it is very normal for them to sniff each other on their backsides (this is similar to humans shaking hands upon greeting) Dogs get to know each other by their smells and a dog’s backside has the strongest smell. If a dog approaches another dog and goes straight to its head that is usually a sign of aggression. There are times when we are out for a walk and another dog will approach and Maggie will go down on the ground. This is her way of submitting to the other dog. Maggie is giving in to the other dog’s superiority. Also on walks there are times Maggie will simply stop walking. I have learned to listen to her and wait a few minutes. She can sense (or smell) a friend close by. Nothing like a “Good Morning” to start your day off on the right foot. When Maggie was younger she used to cock her head to one side. This meant she was listening to a noise. Dog’s hearing is 1000 times more sensitive than ours. So naturally they will hear things we will not. So why do dogs cock their head? It helps them focus and pay attention to where the noise is coming from. There are times in the middle of the night that I will hear Maggie scratching the rug. I used to wonder what she was doing. So naturally I turned to Google. Turns out it is a natural behavior that dates back to when dogs where outside creatures and they claimed their territory. It also creates comfort for them. Some people equate it to us fluffing our pillows before we go to sleep. Maggie is extremely afraid of thunderstorms (something I was hoping she would outgrow). From the second the first rumble can be heard I know we are in for a rough patch. The only way to soothe her is to wrap something tight around her. When I can’t find anything I have actually placed pillow from the sofa on top of her and that has done the trick. I feel badly for her but no amount of reassurance works. I just know that in time the storm will pass and she will feel normal again. Maggie’s favorite sport is chasing squirrels in the backyard. They usually run up a tree when Maggie comes after them. In the beginning it was just when she happened to be outside. Now when I simply say the word “Squirrel” (when she is in the house) she will jump up and race to the back door waiting excitedly to be let out. She will wait at the bottom of the tree and give a bark to let them know she sees them. Eventually she will give up and wander away. I often wonder what will happen if she ever catches one. Hopefully not bring it in for dinner! Maggie is also an active dreamer. How do I know? I have seen her move around a lot as well as bark while she is sleeping. Her paws sometimes move as is she is walking and her snout moves as well. Wonder if she is dreaming of going for a walk and smelling all her familiar smells? I have also seen her tail wag (I guess that means she is having a happy dream!). Sometimes when she whines I feel bad and calmly call her name and she will settle down. These are just some of Maggie’s behaviors. As you can see when she is home she is a regular and loving

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