I sat down this morning to work on my blog. I had an idea of what I wanted to write about and started to type. But then my dog started barking. A lot. Every couple of minutes. So now I find myself wanting an answer to the question:
When the barking started, I knew what Ernie was barking at. He’s sitting on the landing on our stairs where he has a view to the street. And he is barking at just about every movement he sees.
There, he just had an outburst. I looked out the window and a little dog wearing a nice little coat was walking by.
What I didn’t know was why Ernie was being so crazy about barking today. This is not his normal behavior. Mornings are usually pretty quiet. In fact, at age 12, Ernie pretty much spends most mornings sleeping in the kitchen – far from the front door.
Another outburst of barking. The school safety guard just walked by on his way home from his duties at the corner at the end of our block.
After a few of these outbursts, I heard another sound that over the years has awakened me from a dead sleep. Ernie was throwing up. Hmm. Could that be the reason he’s acting a little crazy this morning? Could it be that he just doesn’t feel quite right? I don’t think there’s any serious health issue here but I do think that’s probably the answer to my question.
I just need to manage things and keep Ernie in the room with me. He can’t see (and react) to things going on outside. I can keep an eye on him in case he does throw up again.
Not all problems are this easily solved, but the lessons here for me are twofold. First, whenever you see a change in your dog’s behavior, try to figure out the root cause – it could be a health issue. Second, sometimes a behavior problem is really easy to solve just by doing something to prevent the behavior from happening.