Stop Bugging Me

by Houndstooth on

This summer, we’ve noticed something a little different about our dogs.  I don’t think it makes them terribly different from other dogs.  I guess I’ve just noticed it because it’s new behavior for them.  Well, sort of new behavior, anyway.

Ladybug Luck -- Tales and Tails

Ladybug Luck

Flattery has turned into the Mr. Miyagi of Greyhounds.  By that, I mean that she has honed her bug catching skills to an art form.  If a fly buzzes past her as she walks outside, all it takes is a quick turn of her head and the fly is gone.  She can bite them right out of the air.  That’s not new for her.  She’s been working on that skill for a few years.  Up until now, however, she was only interested in being a fly catcher.  Other bugs held no interest for her.

This year, her interest has turned to these annoying beetles that have started to populate in our area.  Several people I know have commented on how there seem to be a lot of these particular beetles around this year.  It appears that it’s not just my imagination that there are more of them.  Of course, these things don’t move like flies, so Flattery has been perfecting her skill this summer as she tries to catch them, although I have no idea why she thinks it’s a good idea.  I just chalk it up to the quirkiness of Flattery.

Thanks, Dad! -- Tales and Tails

Hunting Bugs

Until now, Flattery has been the only one interested in the bugs, though.  Every once in a while, Morgan will catch one for sport, but even she doesn’t view them as much of a threat.  I suppose she’s too busy keeping an eye on the rabbits.  Küster can’t be bothered with them, probably because they don’t smell like much, and Bunny has always been too much of a princess to take note of a common insect.

The other day, though, Bunny was insistent that I take her outside.  I slipped on my shoes, and of course Flattery was right behind us.  We leashed up as usual and headed out the back door towards the pen.  That was when Bunny spotted a large, unusual green beetle crawling across a dirt patch in the yard.  She was fixated on it.  I have never had a problem calling her off of anything before, or getting her to leave something alone.  A word from me, and she ignores it and moves on.  Something about this beetle, though, was hypnotic.  She would not be swayed.

Summer Magic -- Tales and Tails

I Caught Some

Me:  Bunny, let’s go.

Bunny:  Stop bugging me!

Me: I said, “let’s go!”

Bunny:  I’m busy!

Me:  Bunny!  I’m not kidding!  Leave.  It!

Bunny:  Oh, you had to go and say those dirty words!

I pulled.  I tugged.  I said her name.  I got barely an ear twitch of recognition.  I opened the turn out pen door and reeled her in by the leash.  I pushed her inside and she did go in and finish her business.   After a few minutes, I opened the door and leashed her up again.  It was like a magnet was in that crazy beetle as she veered straight for it.  She almost walked into the side of the car, as a matter of fact.

Summer Magic -- Tales and Tails

Summer Magic

Part of me was tempted to just let her walk over and inspect it, but I’m not sure about the safety of these bugs and I don’t need any emergency vet visits.  My instinct says that once she sniffed it, the novelty would be over.  It’s just incredibly unusual to see anything get her attention that strongly and keep it.  She was so interested that a little while later, she gave me the urgent need to go out signal again, and as soon as we went by, she was looking for that beetle.  Part of me suspects that the beetle was the true motivation for the trip outside, but I can’t be sure.

Sometimes, I would just like to have a lens on the insides of their brains to see what makes them tick.  Clearly, the bug sparked something inside my mild mannered little hound differently than anything else we’ve encountered before.  I know I plan to be careful the next few days as we go out, just in case, but I’m hoping the bug is now forgotten.  I guess time will tell.

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  • SGilbert

    Ha Ha! We have one that like to focus on bugs or anything that flies. Bees are the ones that scare me….so now if I say bee bites he backs off. Beetles I say Yucky and he will sometimes back off. We have a toad that lives in our back yard for the last 4 years…they are so use to him hopping around they don’t pay any attention to him. I just wonder if he got the idea from the bug eating toad? there is never a dull moment living with dogs. Have a good week.

  • Sue Dyer

    Maybe the bug was talking to Bunny, like Jiminy Cricket talked to Pinocchio:)

    Hope you have a lovely day. Sue, Polly & Honey

  • Dona Kelly

    Dogs can be funny, can’t they? You are very smart to be aware of what bugs they might eat. You might want to take a picture of the beetle and check with your vet and find out what you should do if one of the dogs actually eats one. If the beetle is toxic or Bunny has a reaction to it it will be easier if you have what you need. I remember when my Doxie Melanie got stung by a bee. She was allergic to bees, which we didn’t know until then, and couldn’t breathe. There was a tense hour of finding out what to do, getting and administering the needed meds. It would have been a lot easier if we had been prepared. Good luck with getting Bunny over her fascination with the Beetle.

  • Good to be watchful. I’ve had a dog who liked to catch bees. Silly thing.

  • Vicky

    Wow. It is interesting that the one beetle got Bunny’s attention so completely. Do you have any idea what kind it was? Tippy is my little bug hunter/catcher. The brown, hard shelled ones we have around here this time of year really “bug” her. I, too, wish there was a way to know what they are thinking. Good luck keeping her away from the dreaded beetle.