Sunday, February 21, 2010

Babies & Stress

Thursday morning the neighbor lady invited me into her yard to view Blondie's colorful lot hiding under the house. My neighbor pat the ground calling them. Halfway under the house is a retainer wall, It is open in the center. The four little critters came to the opening, stood there and us.How big they are for three weeks.!
Blondie whelped the litter under a banana tree, then moved the pups to under the house a couple of days later. My respect for Blondie's mothering skills grows. They look perfect; can't wait to meet them.
Later in the morning my neighbor's great grand daughter visited with her husband and baby. Puerto Rican families visit frequently, so the dogs greeted them.
Later the baby got fussy, then cried so long I felt like going down there to see if everything was ok, of course, I didn't. It was probably colic, but it is hard to listen to a baby cry. It grabs every maternal fiber in your body. Blondie was pacing outside the door.
Often in classes I've told people to help their dog calm down, that stress makes a dog stupid. It is not an elegant way of putting it, but its true. They get a vacant, nobody home look in the eye, then their behavior changes.
Blondie started barking when the baby cried hard. She was upset.

In this picture Blondie is barking at me, something she has never done before. Look at how big her head looks. She is in complete protection mode, her stress level is soaring.

Blondie charged across the road and to the bottom of my driveway where she is standing in this picture. This girl is in full threat display. She has no idea that it is me she's confronting. Stressed out of her mind is what I thought as I took the photo.
Once within twenty feet of me, she recognized me. Her behavior became submissive. What emotions she was going through as she wiggled and whined, who knows.
How profoundly affected Blondie was by the stress of the baby crying is interesting. She was out of her mind, suppose I had done the wrong things. How long might it have been until she recognized me?
The implications for chronically stressed dogs, well that's a whole other story.
Have a good Sunday, we're going to a sato show.

1 comment:

  1. Does Blondie stake claim to your neighbor? Is that her "family"? Or is she protective of just her puppies? You had written before that the dogs had fended off would be thiefs from your house. I find it very interesting that the dogs are so protective of their territory with humans. When people visit you do the dogs allow them to come and go?