I arrive home, unlock the door and open it to…nothing. There is no dog there to greet me, no wagging tail, no barking or whining or anything of the sort. It’s quiet.
You might think this is the beginning to a sad story about the loss of a canine friend. But it’s not. I step further into the house and look over and ah hah, there is my dog. She’s still laying in my recliner, but her eyes are focused on the door, her ears are up, her tail is wiggling.
When I walk toward her, her lips pull back in one of her “doggy grins” and when I’m standing over her, she throws herself on her back and sticks a paw on me.
She’s happy to see me. She just has her own unique way of showing it.
One of the things people love to talk about with their dogs is their oddities, their quirks. They all have them. Some are endearing. Some are annoying. Some are a bit of both.
One of Dahlia’s other quirks is one of the endearing ones. Before going out for a walk, she has to get a belly rub. We call it the “pre-walk belly rub.” And it’s become a routine. We ask her if she wants to go for a walk and if she does, she rolls over with a big grin on her face, we pet her belly for a few minutes and then she’s ready to go.
Of course, she has her annoying quirks too, like stealing the butter any chance she gets and hiding it under my pillow. Or always have to walk in the direction I go, but in front of me, which means she’s always in the way. But the endearing ones far outweigh the others!
But Dahlia is not the only quirky dog on the TU team. Check out some of the rest of the teams’ quirks.
Molly makes me laugh because every single time I give her a squeaky toy, she races around with big exaggerated t-rex toy shake and butt wiggles…but unfailingly settles into a frog leg position when it comes time to really get down to business and rip her toy apart. It is like she has to get really cozy before she can really focus on eviscerating her toy!
Another funny quirk about Molly is that each and every night that I settle down on our sofa to read a book or watch TV, she has to be in the same spot – I lay on my side with my legs bent, and Molly has to be curled in a ball behind my legs with her head draped across my knees. No options! She stares at me and paws me until the arrangement is made her way! My other two dogs shift around with where they sleep during the evening: on the dog beds, on the couch, snuggled with me, wherever but not Molly. It has to be in that spot!
Widget has a thing for knives.
Actually, Widget has a thing for silverware of all kinds. There’s nothing the kid won’t put in her mouth, but she’s got a particular fondness for metal (I know! She is a weirdo!) When I lived in a house with a Widget-accessible dishwasher, I had to be really quick shutting the dishwasher door when I was doing dishes because otherwise, Widget would be all up in the silverware caddy grabbing everything and hiding it all over the house. With spoons and forks, it was exasperating but cute: with knives or anything else pokey, it was alarming! Widget does not tend to discriminate cute from alarming, though, and so, until we had really great leave it/drop it cues down, I had to be very vigilant to make sure she wasn’t grabbing anything that could hurt her.
However. Once, and only once, I happened to have my camera in the kitchen with me while I was doing dishes, and when Widge started rifling through the silverware, I thought to myself, “I’ve got to take a picture of this; nobody’s ever going to believe me.” So I got my camera ready, and as she grabbed her first piece of silverware, I snapped a picture. The split second after I took the picture, I realized that what she had in her mouth was not a spoon; it was a knife! Even though this was not my best dog-parent moment, in my defense a) it was a very dull knife and b) I took it from her the minute I realized what it was. I just feel compelled to tell you that I don’t routinely let my cattlejack run with knives in her mouth before I show you these two pictures.
Widget Quigley, silverware bandit
Widget Quigley, pirate.
Pongu likes to grab a toy and run around, wiggling his head and making crazy motorboat “rrrRRrrr” noises, every time I come home. Of course, scheming little Machiavelli dog that he is, these displays aren’t limited to when I get back from work. He also breaks out the routine whenever I hug the spousal unit or threaten to pay attention to another dog — because Pongu has learned, correctly!, that I’ll drop whatever else I’m doing and pay attention to his jealous little nerd butt whenever he does the wigglyhead dance.
Crookytail has a bunch of quirks. He likes to do high-fives when he’s happy, or rear up on his hind legs and wave his front paws in the air. Sometimes he wakes us up by rubbing his head all along the perimeter of the bed, pushing the edges of the sheets up over his nose, and clacking his teeth in the air. We call it his “shark routine” because he really does look like he’s trying to play Jaws with the bedcovers.
Fly is the quirkiest of quirky dogs – I haven’t even had time to figure all of them out yet and she has lived with us for eighteen months! Her funniest behavior is the way she plays fetch with herself and her nylabone. We have a large family room with durable wood composite flooring. Fly will pounce on her nylabone, grab it with her mouth, and then flip her head back and throw the bone into the air. When it lands in the middle of the room, she will pounce on it with both of her front feet and then skate across the floor on it! I’ve been trying to get a video of this behavior for months and can never catch it in time, but it cracks me up.
Lucy, bless her weird little heart, does not totally get other dogs: by this, I mean that most of the time, she approaches other dogs like an alien who’s learned about dog behavior from a badly translated book. Case in point: her bizarre playbow. She’s watched a lot of dogs do playbows, and kind of gets the basic jist, but try as she might, she can’t quite pull it off. When Lucy wants to do a playbow, she puts her head on the ground and kind of squishes her body up above it like a toddler attempting to do a handstand. She then starts skittering backwards like she’s doing a crabwalk: it’s pretty clear that the front of her wants to play, but the back of her wants to flee. Also, she knows one word, which is “WOOOOOO!”: she yells “WOOOOOO!” all the time, but never more when she’s attempting to playbow. So picture this: you’re a nice polite young dog, and you are approached by this ludicrous Airedale Schnauzweiler. You playbow at her, and in exchange, she stands on her head, starts doing a combination of a breakdance and a reverse moonwalk, and as she skitters away, you hear “WOOOOoooooooo!” echoing further and further into the distance.
It’s no wonder Lucy only has very patient friends.
Ein is your regular bossy, noisy corgi and he loves his toys. He regularly keeps a stash of no less than four nylabones surrounding him at all times. But his cutest quirk by far is his “detailing” of plushy toys. After the bigger dogs have completely destuffed and destroyed a stuffed toy, Ein grabs the carcass and takes it with him everywhere. He will settle into place and nibble, nibble, nibble that toy until he has nibbled the entire surface area. He keeps it up until the carcass is torn to shreds and I steal it and throw it away. If he has to bark while detailing, he barks but each bark is chattery with the nibbling action. Ridiculous!
Nellie is the sweetest and most perfect of dogs, but she has this one quirk which drives me bananas: she always, always feels that she must assist with bedmaking. It doesn’t matter how sneaky you are taking your armload of sheets into the bedroom: she will sense it, and before you can put your sheets down, your bed will have a sprawled out pit bull on it. You will patiently remove the pit bull, but as soon as you’ve got the first corner of the sheet on, there she is again, laying on top of the sheet you’re trying to spread out. You remove her again, only to find her laying right on top of the blanket you need. It always takes three times as long to make any bed in my house because of Nellie. On the upside, this is a pretty good excuse for just never making my bed!
SEE, I’M HELPING!!!
What about your dog? Does he or she have any silly little quirks that make your heart melt? Share in the comments!