Monday, January 7, 2013

TV Time

One of the pups, who is now seven months old, is spending some time in the house these days to learn house manners.  Shoshana was in the house as a small puppy, but has been out in the yard with the other youngsters for a while.  But now her turn has come to be inside.

She seems to be quite pleased with this situation.  So far, she has not tried to chew anything up.  Of course, Habibi has a lot to do with this exemplary behavior.  As far as he is concerned, everything in the house belongs to him. So if she tries to pick anything up, she immediately finds him standing over her with a stern look of “Put that down! It’s mine!” 

However, she is no pushover.  Habibi spends a lot of his indoor time either lying on my feet on the sofa when I am there (not my favorite place for him, as the sofa is rather short, and he is not a small dog…), or lying next to me, either next to the sofa or next to my chair when I am at the computer.  So I was relaxing and watching television with Habibi next to me when I heard an emphatic growl.  Shoshana had decided that SHE wanted to be next to me, and she was growling at Habibi to move!  I was first of all amazed that she had the nerve to try it, and then further amazed by the fact that Habibi let her get away with it!  True that he is very tolerant of puppies, but to let another dog crawl in between him and me, and to let her get away with growling about it …! 

I found this interaction fascinating.  Shoshana growling with a very serious look on her face, Habibi just looking at her, and then Shoshana licking his nose as she continued to growl – “I don’t really mean it, I just want to sit here, but you need to take me seriously...”

So there we all were, watching television. At first, Shoshana didn’t pay any attention to it, she was busing worming her way into position next to the sofa.  But then she suddenly noticed all the movements and shapes and colors, and whatever a dog does see on the TV screen, along with the noise – Oh my!!!! What was this????  This was enough to make her give up her position next to the sofa and retreat to the kitchen doorway.

After a while, she decided either that this weird object was not dangerous, or that her preferred spot was more important. She ignored the program that was on, and concentrated on protecting her territorial rights from Habibi.

And then a new program came on,  We are now getting an American series, I guess you could call it an action series, “Spartacus”, about the Roman gladiators.  I had never seen it, and was curious, and quickly discovered that it was a showcase for some really good bodies, both male and female, with the males engaging in really serious rough stuff. (At my age, I am allowed to admire these physiques, but I could do without the addition of blood and guts…)

As the battle scenes came on, with the posturing men in their aggressive positions, muscles standing out, faces with that dominant male stare, Shoshana stood up, head forward, ears up, and stared.  These figures on the screen were threatening!  Look at that body language! Who knew if they weren’t going to jump out and attack us!!!!  She stood there and barked at them – inside that strange box or not, they did not belong in our house!

No question about how well Shoshana was reading body language.  Who says that dogs don’t pay attention to what they see on TV?  Mostly, though, it is just not significant enough to respond to.

Habibi thought that this just proved how silly she was – everyone knows that there is no one inside the television…


  1. TV memories of Mackie watching Nat'l Geographics film on wolf packs. He watched and when they ventured off screen he was searching out the windows and behind the TV set, until he finally realized that they were not in the room. Thanks for that memory.

  2. Good story, tho we've never had our dogs pay attention to the images on the TV, they will cock their heads at the barks/howls from the dogs/wolves on the TV show or now on the computer, thanks to Utoob and such.