Listening to What My Pet is Trying to Tell Me

Rocket was sad. He sat there with his nose under the couch, and gave a heavy sigh. I called to him, and he wouldn’t even look at me. He just stayed there, nose under the couch, and gave a little whimper. I couldn’t figure out what was wrong. I hadn’t forgotten to feed him, and I had made sure to walk him and pet him, but he seemed inconsolable. I brought him a dog treat that got his nose out from under the couch but after a few sniffs, he put his nose back where it was.

I retrieved a favorite toy from his box and gave it a playful squeeze. “Squeak! Squeak!” it went, but he ignored it. Again, I tried calling him, even offering to take him for another quick walk before work. He wasn’t interested. I was at a loss. I called Mom to see if she had any ideas.

“Is he feeling bad?” she asked. “No”, I told her. “He was playing just a little while ago and seemed fine.” “Everything go okay on his walk?” she asked. “No”, I said again, “everything was normal on his walk too, and he was as happy as a clam when we got back.” Everything she thought of, I had already thought about and came up blank. I thanked her for her help and put the phone back on the receiver. Then I noticed Rocket was out from under the couch and was just sitting there, looking at me.

“What’s the matter boy?” I asked him. “What is it?” I went to where he was standing and reached out to pat his head but he moved his head from me, went a few feet away, and turned to look at me again. I was puzzled. I took a step toward him and again put out my hand, and once again, he moved a few feet away. I shrugged and went to turn back to the kitchen, and he bounded back over beside me but again moved away when I went to pet him. Did he want me to follow him? “What is it, boy?” I asked him again. “Do you want me to follow you?”

This time, every time he moved a few feet, so did I, but I didn’t try to pet him. After he saw I was going to follow him, he quit stopping to look back at me and went right back to the couch, looked at it, then at me, and whimpered again.

Was something wrong with the couch? I got down in the floor beside him, and his mood seemed to lighten. This must be it; he wanted me to do something with the couch. I looked under the cushions, but nothing seemed amiss. I leaned down to look under the couch. Rocket leaned down too, and we were head to head, looking under the furniture. Then, I saw his rawhide bone. I remembered that when we came back from our morning walk, he went straight for this bone and was lying on the floor in front of the couch, chewing on it contentedly.

It must have gotten away from him and rolled under the couch and out of his reach. As I pulled the toy from under the couch, his mood changed immediately. He gave a few happy barks, took the bone from my hand, and hopped away, tail wagging behind him

I laughed a little as the happy dog jogged away, and, problem solved, happily went to work.


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