Like most dogs, Charlie likes treats. I try to keep a steady supply on hand, and I give him one when I’m feeling guilty for not giving him much attention, or if I’m leaving the house, so he associates “Joy gone” with “good treat.”
A few days ago, I bought a new brand. Each treat looks like a fake sliced bone, with red “marrow” in it. They’re pretty big for a Charlie-sized dog. (Off topic, but: Isn’t it silly how dog treats are designed with humans in mind? Who cares if they’re shaped like a fake bone? Not Charlie, that’s for sure. As long as it tastes good and smells better.)
Anyhoodles, Charlie has responded in a characteristically quirky way to this treat — I’m not sure what’s going on in his little dog brain (Brendan would say: not much). What happened this morning is the typical behavior he displays when given one of these new treats:
I took him for a walk this morning around 8 a.m. About an hour later, needing to buckle down and do some serious editing, I went into the kitchen and handed him a treat. Then around 2:30 in the afternoon, in time for his normal afternoon walk, I called “Charlie….go outside?” He didn’t come running like normal, when he’s usually desperate to go outside.
I kept calling his name, eventually heading back to our bedroom where his dog bed is. There he was, hovering, closely guarding something. I picked up his dog bed blanket, and yep, the treat rolled out.
He didn’t give me a second to contemplate things — he grabbed it (with his mouth) and ran out of the room. I followed him, and kept asking “go outside?” After all, I was holding his leash and the house keys and was damn-well ready to go outside myself, too.
He’d walk into one room, then another, making pained grunting noises the entire time, treat in mouth. Finally he went back to his dog bed, crawled in it, and apparently decided that, after 6 hours of coveting the treat, he’d better eat it. So he ate it.
Dog-people: Any idea what this is about? Is this like when a dog buries a bone? Do they guard it constantly after that? Even sacrificing trips outside? Is this something single dogs do since they don’t have to worry about another dog stealing it?
(He’s also been dreaming very vividly lately — is anything funnier than a Shih Tzu barking in his sleep?)