I didn’t want her to fret for too long, so I brought her in and she soon settled on the kitchen floor as I pottered around. “Oh, how sweet”, I thought, “She wants my company.”
I noticed that she would intermittently look towards the kitchen bench. All I could see of interest was her harness and lead. My brain ticked over. I wonder what she’d do if I picked up the harness and moved it? I know she gets very excited when her harness and lead are presented – so much that she has difficulty thinking of anything else and this makes training difficult. I was pre-empting some training to help her level of arousal decrease when the harness and lead was presented. So I picked it up and moved it to a chair in the dining room. Zoe got up and did her bum wiggle of delight and followed me, watching as I hung the harness over the corner of the chair. Not her usual exuberant jumping but definitely interested.
I went back to the kitchen. Zoe settled down quickly near the chair.
Mmmmm. Is she going to stay there? Isn’t it my wonderful, witty company she desires?
It must be my company. She’s only a couple of metres away and can hear me clunking around. But, maybe I’ll just do another little experiment and move the harness and lead again. Just to another chair….and see what she does.
Zoe got up, did the happy butt wiggle and then settled down next to the new harness parking spot by another chair. Then sprawled and had a snooze.
Right. She disliked being outside – I have the perfect deal breaker to see if this magnetic harness attraction is fluke or not. Surely she would rather be inside with me than with the mystical object of outings. It’s going outside!
And so did Zoe. Happily. Calmly. Settling on the chair which I hung the harness over. No great excitement or jumping, just the happy booty dance and then up on the chair and soon to be napping.
At first I thought Zoe anticipated a walk. When she didn’t show overt signs of excitement but simply stayed near the harness, I began to wonder. Especially when she was settled outside. I wondered if the harness represented something comforting on the first day in an alien environment. Like Linus and his blanket in the Peanuts cartoons.
I don’t know what cryptic seduction the harness represented. It may even have nothing to do with Zoe’s settling behaviour. It may have simply been the time inside that was relaxing her and coincidence that found her lying near the harness each time. What I do know is that it’s fascinating to watch dog behaviour, and my attempts to figure out what was going on resulted in discovering Zoe was now OK to be left outside the next day.
I left the charmed harness outside on the chair…… just in case it actually did possess security blanket qualities.