On Monday of this week, we took one of our rescue dogs to Bloomington Indiana to be spayed as part of the things that we do to get them ready for their new home. It’s pretty routine and usually pretty easy going and uneventful, but Monday was a little different. We have transported dogs for the foundation for some time and have even transported our own dog's many miles and visited many states. The only problem I have ever had in the past was when I was taking Doc for a ride to Seymour to run some errands. Starting to return home, I discovered I was hungry, so I pulled into the golden arches, and I ordered some food. Up to this point, Doc was not too interested in the things around him, but his ears immediately perked up as we stopped at the drive-through. The attendant said, “boy, he’s a little spunky,” and my response was “Oh...he’ll be fine.” “Hold on Doc, I’ll give you a bite” as I started to pull into traffic with a soft drink between my legs, French fries in a bag on my lap and a chicken sandwich in my right-hand driving with my left hand and knees trying not to get lettuce my lap. Doc is food obsesses just like Dutchess, but I was in a hurry to get home. As I pulled into traffic, Doc lunged into my lap again and attempted to get his nose into the bag. There was nothing to do but give him a bite. “Doc, sit” which he did, and he gobbled the French fry out of my hand but the problem, he nearly took my finger off. OK, new plan…I threw the French fry to the back seat. He leaped over the seat and found it and returned in a second. “Ooh, that didn’t take long,” I then just threw the sandwich in the back seat, and up till last Monday, this was the worse.
Monday morning was rainy and dark, and we left before sunrise because they want you there at eight o'clock and it takes an hour to get there. We had a calm trip in the light rain until we got into light traffic. Because everyone had their lights on, it immediately changed our trip.
Knowing she is always calm during a car ride, she was unrestrained laying in the passenger seat. As the cars started approaching us from the opposite direction, ears perked up, and the chase was on. Running from the front of the car to the back was a very intense dog chasing the lights on the cars we met, and we were only eight miles from Nashville, Indiana, only a quarter of the way there. Things got worse because of more traffic, and we were still on very rural roads. Once we got to Nashville and headed to Bloomington, things really changed because it is a bustling road with lots of trucks and more lights with colossal engine noises to boot. It was a calamity of errors, and all I could hope for is daylight but was in trouble because on the heavily clouded skies. I’m sure if anyone could see us they would wonder what in the world was happening and truth be known, I’m sure she enjoyed it because it was fun for her and no different than Dutchess jumping from front to back looking for a drive thru restaurants and I'm sure she was worn out after she has an hour of intense exercise. We made it home fine, and the trip home was very calm because the sun was out and no lighted missiles were heading our way.
Somewhere in her past, someone played with a laser light with her. I have seen this several times and can be devastating to a high energy dog. According to the AKC, “The movement of a laser pointer triggers a dog's prey drive, which means they want to chase it. It's an unending game with no closure for the dog since they can't ever catch that beam of light, like they can when chasing a toy or food.
Many dogs continue looking for the light beam after the laser pointer has been put away; this is confusing for your dog because the prey has simply disappeared. This can create obsessive compulsive behaviors like frantically looking around for the light, staring at the last location they saw the light, and becoming reactive to flashes of light (such as your watch face catching the sunlight and reflecting on the wall, or the glare of your tablet screen on the floor). Dogs that exhibit behavioral issues are frustrated, confused, and anxious.”
The moral of this story is never play with a laser light with an animal and make sure the dog seatbelt is in the car. We have 3 of them… Ken