Monday, September 29, 2008

What Dogs Tell Each Other

A little over a decade ago, John and I came up with a list of "Four Things That Dogs Want," and another list of "Four Things That Dogs Are Telling You." Full disclosure: one of the latter, "Don't hurt me; I'm only a puppy," did not originate with us, but came from something John had read.

Anyway, when I posted a home page on AOL circa 1997, the two doggy lists were there. Both of them have been tweaked a bit over the years, and now reside on the version of the page. (Scroll to the bottom of the page if the link doesn't direct you to the proper section.)

But it occurred to me today, as I watched the dogs at Miko's Corner Playground, that we need a third list:

Things That Dogs Tell Each Other

Hi! Who are you?

That's right. I'm tuff! (sic)

Let's play! (lots of ways to say this)

I'm top dog! / You're top dog!

I'm down, but not out!

Mine! Back off!

Many dogs live solitary lives with respect to their own species, but given the opportunity they will exhibit pack behavior. Well, at least I assume that's how a pack behaves. Sometimes a dog will attract the attention of several dogs at once. With the right kind of bark, nearly every dog within a hundred yards will come running. And if one dog runs, even chasing a ball, other dogs will usually give chase.

I don't really have anything deep to say about this tonight. I just wanted to see whether I could document a variety of common dog interactions in tonight's photo essay. And here it is!

Tomorrow: my entry for the Ellipsis Monday Photo Shoot, the man who bought the Museum, and St. Michael's ride.


1 comment:

Florinda said...

Thanks for the links to your other dog-communication lists. Wish I'd seen them last night. I STILL don't know what Gypsy was trying to tell us with the pacing, the panting, the jumping on and off the bed - I just know that no one got a decent night's sleep.