Scaredy-cat

Rascal

I have a 17-pound schnoodle (poodle and schnauzer mix) named Rascal. Quite often he lives up (or down!) to his name–bold and anxious to run and play.

Except in one situation…

If he hears a fly buzz in the house, he is absolutely terrified. He will cower…find his hiding place under the corner desk and get in the deepest, darkest corner he can…shadow me like a 2-year-old, almost tripping me sometimes.

I don’t know why flies terrify him. He’ll go after wasps and bees with no problem, but let there be even the slightest inkling of a buzz, and all his bravery disappears.

Yesterday there were a couple of flies in the house. So he insisted on going outside, enjoying sitting in the sun for a while, and eventually hiding in his doghouse. He would not come in–not until we absolutely insisted, because it was getting close to bedtime.

He skulked in…tail between his legs, head constantly swiveling and ears cocked, watching and listening for any sight or sound of the dreaded flies.

When I went upstairs to take my bath, he almost tripped me because he was cowering so closely. And while normally he checks out the upstairs rooms and then heads back downstairs, last night he curled up on the futon in the spare bedroom–where he could still see me.

Then it was back downstairs and time for bed. Right!

I called…he looked at me. I called again…he came into the bathroom off the bedroom and just looked at me again. I got into bed and called…he looked and then hid behind the toilet in the bathroom. This wasn’t getting us anywhere! So I got out of bed, picked him up, and physically put him on the bed. I made him lay down, put my arm over him to make him feel more secure–and he finally relaxed. So did I. Big mistake!

He wiggled out from underneath my arm, plopped onto the floor, and back into the bathroom–probably behind the toilet again. I was too tired to go check. But I assume that’s where he spent the night.

Normally he wakes me up by making chuffing noises (kind of like a sneeze) and, if that doesn’t work, nosing me–and then yipping. This morning we skipped the physical touch–he stood by the toilet in the bathroom, chuffing and yipping.

I dressed, trying not to trip over the 4-legged leech that was clinging to me, and when I got his harness and leash out for his walk, he tore out of the house! As far as he was concerned, the walk could have gone twice as long–he wasn’t anxious to re-enter the house and be exposed to the dangerous insects that make such horrible noises!

I’m at work now–and he’s back outside. Maybe by this evening he will have decided that it’s safe in the house again–that his humans have removed that horrible buzzing critter…but I’m not counting on it.

It’s going to be a long summer!

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