A while back, Sadie started actin weird. I assumed she was stressed from the change in her schedule, with my return to work. She’s my dog. She might be The Mister’s good puppy, but she’s my dog.
First, it was reported that she lay by the door all day, not in joy of bird and squirrel watching, but in that pathetic way dogs do when their mamas aren’t home. Lots of pitiful whining and sighing.
Then there was an increase in paw-tending. This dog is a chewer. Now, I know, you think all dogs chew on stuff, but Dog People understand. This dog is a nervous chewer. When we rescued her, she had chewed bare many spots on herself. Other dogs might enjoy a squeak toy or a rawhide, but Sadie can kill a giant-size Nylabone in under an hour. (Which is very bad for any dog and why we only did that once.) Sadie gets marrow bones, antlers, hooves — all raw, per the vet. I bought some new hooves and threw in some pig’s ears.
Still, more chewing and licking herself. I’d see her licking that left paw and I’d call her up on the sofa for a love fest.
She did not want to play ball or toys or rope. She didn’t want to chase the kitten.
Then her potty habits changed.
As Dog People know, this is a red flag. She made in the house twice that week. In the middle of the floor, unabashedly, like, “HELLO HUMAN, I HAVE POOPED HERE FOR ALL THE WORLD TO SEE. DO YOU SENSE MY DISTRESS?”
She did this right after she’d been taken outside.
She stopped running her perimeter and went right to the edge of the patio to pee and then immediately waited at the gate.
That is not good.
We’ve had this dog five years. She is a perimeter pooper, an excellent guard dog, protective of her land and her people, as all good bitches should be.
I took her out for a walk. I walked her all over our neighborhood. She remained leery of grass. Sadie, the scent tracker, leery of grass.
I walked her through the fallow field. She was skittish. She’d turn back to me as if I was torturing her.
We walked home.
We walked all over her yard.
We walked through her back yard.
She finally made, and I praised her like it was week one all over again.
She looked up at me and I swear she was grateful.
Although our dogs do not speak to us in our own language, she told me what happened.
Have you figured it out, Dog People?
Do you know what happened to her that she didn’t want to be in the grass?
I think Sadie stepped on a bee in the grass, got stung, and she carefully, silently tended that wound in her foot.
I kid you not, immediately after that walk, she returned to her former self. Much chasing kitten and playing toys going potty at the perimeter. I think she needed to know the grass wouldn’t bite her.
Have your pets ever told you such a sad story?