Wednesday, December 10, 2008

dogs, marvelous creatures

Albert Einstein is said to have defined insanity as "doing the same thing over and over again and expecting different results." I would submit, however, that this is also the definition of "dog."

As usual this morning, Rosie dog, woke me just before seven to be let outside. As usual I got up, put on socks and Crocs, and sleepily led her through the still dark house to the back door. I opened the door, commanded Rosie to sit, then opened the storm door to let her out. She stuck her nose about six inches out of the door, discovered it was pouring rain, and backed up looking at me as if to say "are you nuts who in their right mind would go out in that?"

So I closed the door and settled into my big chair in the living room to await what I knew was coming. Within two minutes, Rosie began to scratch urgently at the back door, looking at me, begging to be let out. I got up, opened the door, commanded her to sit, then opened the storm door. Rosie's nose got about six inches out, felt the rain, and then she backed into the house.

Over the next twenty minutes we went through this little dance a total of five times. Each time, Rosie dog hoped that the door would open and there would be no rain. Each time she was disappointed. Finally on the sixth try biological necessity overcame reluctance to get wet, and slowly she exited the house to relieve herself. She was, of course, back within seconds, to get out of the rain.

Dogs are also extremely obsessive and compulsive. If human, we would probably diagnose them as having OCD. There is a spot in the kitchen where the floor is slightly raised and has new floor tile, that Rosie must walk over (she can't walk around it), but when she does, she must stop briefly each time and stretch and sniff before moving on. My theory is that she slipped on that once on one of those rare occasions that I mop the kitchen floor, and now goes through this obsessive little routine to avoid slipping again. A human would simply walk around the spot, as the kitchen is plenty wide enough to avoid it entirely, but Rosie never does that.


Deborah Godin said...

Hilarious! Poor Rosie, I don't blame her at all for not wanting to piddle in a puddle! And you're probably going to get a lot of comments from cat owners like me who say felines can match dogs point for point when it comes to OCD!

Sue said...

Having (now) nine cats of my own, I don't really think of cats as compulsive -- obstinate, hidebound, persistent, yes, but unlike dogs, my cats are almost always ultimately successful in getting what they want by their persistent behavior. When Booger or Pepper keep climbing back in my lap over and over again after being lifted off repeatedly, they do eventually win. I give up and they get to stay!

Qaro said...

This was so funny! I don't know if dogs or cats are more OCD but I think dogs may worry more.

storyteller said...

I relate to this so much. Molly, my Labrador Retriever LOVES water and swims readily in the ocean. If there's a puddle anywhere, she'll find it and lie down ... but if it's raining she's just like Rosie and it drives me NUTZ ;--)
Hugs and blessings,