Saturday, March 31, 2012

A Dog's Contribution

Last November, our household "zoo" added a new member, a puppy. Raiden joined the finches, tortoise, bearded dragon, and two cats (I don't think the cats were too happy about the newcomer).

Until getting him, I had forgotten how much I tend to rely on dogs when they are present for certain sounds. When there is a dog in the vicinity and I hear a strange sound, I look at the dog first. Their reaction will tell me a lot about the sound that I wouldn't otherwise realize without investigating it myself.

Morning Raiden
I also managed to inadvertently train Raiden to let me know when the microwave and oven timers go off. When we first got him, we fed him in four intervals during the day. I would soak his food in water and set the timer on the microwave or oven. He quickly grew to associate the sound of the timer with food and now, even though he has a bowl of food always set out for him, he will go running into the kitchen. It can be very handy when I am watching television and have something timed. He lets me know if I miss it.

His excited movements let me know if someone is at the door. Conversely, he also lets me know if a sound is no big deal. I was playing a video game the other day and kept hearing something odd. I couldn't tell if it was from the game, from the house, or outside in the neighborhood. I paused the game, and looked at Raiden. He hadn't reacted much to the sound at all, which I took to be a clue it was not very close by or important. It turned out to be a neighbor using an oddly pitched power tool in their backyard.

Raiden may not be a hearing dog, but having him around, I have realized how much dogs can contribute to my awareness of the world. (I love cats, too... but let's face it, they ignore a lot more things than dogs do.) I think I will start some training for him to let me know when my phone rings!


  1. I enjoyed this article. Let us know how it goes.

  2. What a sweetie - is it a Papillon? My sister had a beloved Papillon for many years.


All comments on my blog are moderated, and I reserve the right not to publish any comments for any reason. This blog is set up so that anyone can comment. If you have trouble, email me, or check Blogger's help section.