Monday, November 30, 2009

Why Do I Get the Crazy Dogs?

I'm starting to think it's me.

Argus was afraid of lightning. Thunder. Fireworks. The vacuum cleaner. All fairly normal for a dog. But he also disliked rain, snow, chirping smoke detectors and the occasional Chihuahua.

Kairos is taking it a leap forward, turning almost overnight into Crazy McTwitchypants. He seems to have hit some weird fear stage--which typically occurs around eight weeks (he's now one year plus)--and the list of things he's afraid of grows almost daily.

First it was men. Not Thomas, but pretty much every other man he came across, even those we had welcomed into our home and introduced to him as friends. Like Scott, for instance. He stayed overnight and every time he managed to leave and return to Kairos' line of sight, he was greeted with renewed barking and growling.

The first time I noticed Kairos being fearful around men was at the dog park. I was sitting at the picnic table when some random guy came up and sat down. Kairos ran over, pressed himself against my leg and started barking. At the time I thought, "Oh! How sweet. He's protecting me." But no. He growls at the man who comes to school to pick up his son. He shies away from men on the street, and those hanging out in their own yards. He doesn't lunge or jump at them; he would just prefer that they take themselves elsewhere.

And then there's the shrub. The same shrub he's seen every day since he was six weeks old. It's in our front yard and he has to pass it every time he goes out to pee, to get Hannah from school, or just to go on a walk. Same shrub, but now he tries to run out into the street to avoid it. I thought, "Well, is it touching him? I wouldn't like branches in my hair, so maybe that's the problem." I trimmed the shrub. No luck. He still doesn't like it.

Kairos also won't go outside by himself. Not even for a romp around the back yard. We put him out; he hops up on a chair and barks at the window until someone opens the door again. And now he won't cross the playroom to get to that back door. He won't even cross the threshold into the playroom.

But hey, I’d rather have him freaking out about the shrubbery and demanding to be carried across the playroom to the back door than have him poop out socks, headbands and other random bits of fabric twice a day.*

Good thing he’s really cute--and sweet. I guess he’s growing on me.

* I’m assuming you’ve already heard enough about that particular quirk!

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