The Hidden Dog

Generally I think I know my dogs.  I think behavior follows from motivation, and there are only a few motivators for them: food, sex (well, for Kunga anyway), protection, play, and companionship.  As long as I can understand what’s motivating them, I can pretty much predict their reactions.

But sometimes they surprise me.  A Lab-sized dog off-lead charged up to Kunga a few days ago and began sniffing him.  I thought there’d be blood, but Kunga took it with a bemused sideways look and a warning growl that made the Lab back off.  (I was the one who reacted furiously to the Lab’s owner.)

Then there’s the mysterious behavior that I can never quite figure out: Kunga will sometimes turn a circle before eating the food from his dish; Lucy will suddenly race to the picture window and bark at nothing, furiously; Kunga will stare at a place in the rug as though the pattern will jump up and bite his nose.  For all that we think we know our dogs, I think they will always surprise us with their hidden sides.

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