, Salem, MA


February 22, 2013

Pup loves 'burying' socks in cushions

Q: My little Gizmo was an abandoned terrier mix. She came into the shelter with ticks, tapeworm, whipworm and a burn. She also had a sore on her leg and was underweight. As I looked around the shelter and saw the little shaky dog, I fell in love with her. She is the joy in my life and is the best little dog in the world. She never did any messes in the house nor tore up anything. She enjoys carrying one or two or even three socks or slippers in her mouth and whimpers as she tries to “bury” them in her bed or the couch. She even pushes imaginary dirt over them. She is 5 years old. Do you know why she does this?

A: Over years writing this column and delving into the magical thinking of dogs, Dog Lady has concluded that when they do quirky things such as carrying nightgowns, dancing around food or letting out a happy yowl when you enter the room, they celebrate life. They’re not worrying about predators, sickness, ill health, hunger or any of the immediate fears inherent in their species; they are merely going to their happy place. In dogs, this comes out as primitive behavior that brings them joy — such as pushing imaginary dirt over a couple of socks buried in the couch. Gizmo acts out the rituals of her ancestors because she’s completely comfortable to be a dog. You have made her secure. She does not feel abandoned, unloved or unwanted.

Q: We recently put a deposit down on a puppy that is a Pekingese/Pomeranian. She turned 8 weeks old two days before Christmas. We have two little girls — ages 2 and 6. I am a stay-at-home mom, so the pup will not ever be alone and will constantly be around the 2-year-old. A lot of things I have read say that the Pekingese is going to bite my daughter. I am obviously concerned. My dad did make a point that, since we are getting the puppy so young, she will grow up around the girls and it shouldn’t be a problem. Any ideas?

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