Friday, March 28, 2008

Sniffin' in the Winter Wonderland

Whooee! Well friends an' foes, I've had my fill o' snow this winter. I was hopin' the snow was done fer the year. Partly on accounta all the dang shovelin' but mostly so's ol' Spot would have a few months to fergit this new obsession he's gotten into. Seems he's got a footprint fetish.

But dang it all, it was snowin' again when I went to bed last night an' I had to push some of it around this mornin'. After I cleared some sidewalks, I took ol' Spot down to the soybean field. It sure was a beauty-full sight with that snow all stuck to the trees.

I took a couplafew pitchers. Here's one I kinda like:
Here's one of the same place with ol' Spot backtrackin'.
Ol' Spot's got me a bit worried. Border Collies is kinda known fer obsessive compulsive behaviour. Up til a coupla weeks ago, Spot was pretty much normal. Then one day, he all of a sudden started in with some obsessive sniffin' at the snow. At first, I thought he was on the scent of some critter. What I've since discovered is that he's become obsessed with the scent of his own footprints.

When he gets into the obsessive sniffin', he don't listen to anything. He won't do stuff he's known how to do fer years, like "sit" "come" "stay" "fetch the stick/ball/frisbee." He's like a cat on catnip when he's on his own trail. Worse yet, when he's backtrackin' an' sniffin' his own tracks, he's makin' new tracks an' he starts sniffin' them, too. I reckon that's called a positive feedback loop.

I been doin' my best to discourage the obsessive sniffin'. He's startin' to respond to "No sniff!" We had a coupla wrestlin' matches out in the snow over it an' he's not so oblivious to me when I'm givin' him some basic commands. I did some googlin' lookin' fer other dogs who maybe was similarly afflicted but I didn't find nuthin'. Nobody I know's ever heard of this sorta nuttiness, neither.

Yesterday, there weren't too much snow left in the beanfield an' he didn't get into any obsessive sniffin' on the bare ground. Fer the sake o' Spot's an' my mental health, I'm hopin' fer a big melt soon.


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