November 16, 2015

How Do Hounds Think?

I know the title is a little strange but you have to wonder what goes inside their heads when out of nowhere, they change their routines or do something surprising for the first time. There have been some of these changes recently and one of them in the past 10 hours.

I realize there is a difference between hounds and people. They are animals we are humans, no matter how pet owners treat theirs. Yes, they like me but what are their reasons. Is it just because I am their "doorman" and food source?

You have to wonder based on their responses, even Heidi's, since I now feed them twice per day. It's still the same with Winston being the one that decides when the herd wakes up first thing in the morning. The change is Heidi. Whereas before she never got up on the first trip outside that takes place in the dark now with the time change. In fact she rarely got up until her lunch time when I was feeding the hounds once per day.

After a week or so of feeding them twice per day and as soon as they come back inside after that first trip in the dark ... Heidi is now going out with the other three hounds first thing in the morning, even when it's cold outside. By the time I get their food bowls filled with their morning portion ... all four hounds are at the door EXCITED to come in.

The basset's are wagging their tails, Sadie is hopping up and down with mini barks and Stella is quietly moving herself in position to be the first one inside. Since they all sprint to their respective food bowls, I've had to place all the bowls up high and out of the way and then set them down in order. This prevents them from stealing food from the others ... yes, they have tried that.

The surprise was last night and again this morning ... with two new routine changes.

For 7 years and 3 months, Sadie has slept on the floor starting with her mexican wool blankets and then taking Heidi's new dog bed that I bought her the day I picked her up from the foster mom in 2011.

Until last night ... this is where today's blog title comes into play.

A little after midnight, as I am turning stuff off and locking the doors, the hounds will head to their sleeping spots in the bedroom. I keep them in there so I can shut the door and keep them out of trouble. I have tried to let them sleep wherever they choose and keep the bedroom door open, but they failed that test. They like to roam at night and get into stuff ... preferably their dog food.

Anyway, so they are walking into the bedroom while I finish shutting off lights, locking doors etc. For the first time in 7 years and 3 months or the amount of time I've had Sadie since she was a 12 week old puppy ... she is not on the dog bed in the corner of the room ... Winston is. Sadie has jumped up on the bed on the opposite of where I sleep, curled up sleeping ... or acting like she is sleeping. She stayed their all night. She has never done that. What made her do it?

The second surprise happened this morning. It was another routine changer at least for today.

Usually after they eat breakfast, I am on the computer with a cup of coffee, Stella since her arrival on August 30 lays right next to my desk chair and sleeps, Sadie sleeps on her living room blanket, Heidi takes the big chair in the living room with her mexican wool blanket and Winston normally lays in his spot in the bedroom.

Not today ... as I am reading through my normal list of blogs and websites I notice it is extremely quiet ... tooooo quiet. That usually means the bloodhounds are into something they shouldn't be, or they have found something new they might be chewing on or at least checking it out.

I sneak quietly away from my desk to find out what they are doing. Heidi and Winston are in their normal places ... then the shocker ... once again, Sadie is on the bed curled up sleeping using the spare pillow, in the same spot she slept in last night. Stella has joined her, laying right next to her.

What made them do that for the first time ever? It's not that cold yet. There was no food involved.

Just like I have mentioned before ... another strange thing ... when the bloodhounds play inside, Stella lays on the floor and is in the defensive mode, outside it's just the opposite where you see in the photos that Sadie lays on the ground and is usually in the defensive mode.

After a good two hour nap this morning, Stella comes to the desk to rescue me and let me know they all want to go outside. Even Heidi takes another trip with the herd outside.

The bloodhounds take off for their daily recon mission in the field, plus dump their tanks. They seemed pretty energetic this morning ... it must be Monday.

Since this post has been talking about new changes ... here is another. This morning Winston decides he wants to join the fun and attempts to wrestle with the bloodhounds. He can't jump up like he use to but he tried, not quite reaching far enough to nip their jaws.

Even here in the tropics of southern Indiana you can occasionally catch a nice sunset. I was almost too late for the one last night.

Winston is sure I said something about food or him getting food or eating.

More later ... enjoy your day!

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