Copyright 2012 Digby Van Winkle. Powered by Blogger.
Saturday, 12 May 2012
The Many Sounds of Digby
There are a lot of noises that come out of Digby’s mouth – like the
one he was making when I took this picture – a snuffled snort of “Please
There are a number of other noises he makes, aside from the joyous
snort of absolute bliss so I’m just going to jump right into it.
First, there’s the “A leaf has dared to enter the house, I must
address this situation immediately!” bark. Relatively loud and not a
small dog’s bark at all (although somewhat high in pitch) it’s a warning
bark. It’s a “You’d better leave or feel my wrath” kind of bark. Cute,
yet annoying at the end of a long day. Thankfully the leaves have never
decided to take Digby on because I fear that he’d come out second best.
Then there’s the “I’m about to eat/play with/steal something I know
I’m not allowed” snort. Almost like a laugh, it reminds me of a kid who
knows that mummy’s make up is off limits but they are just so tempted by
rebellion that they want it even more. Case in point: mum’s vintage
nightgown, a family heirloom passed down through the generations. Digby
is obsessed with it.
One of the most hilarious of barks is the “Hairdryer! play with me!”
plea. Digby was scared of the hairdryer at first and with good reason.
It’s loud and it blows hot air in your face. Absolutely terrifying. In
an effort to desensitise him we started having training sessions near it
and gradually worked up to actually turning it on. Now when he wants
treats he sits nicely by the dressing table and accasionally lets out a
bark, as if to ask it if it wants to play. When the hairdryer is on it’s
open season and Digby barks an excited high pitched squeal of
excitement as he leaps at it and tries to bite the nozzle.
Another vocalisaion of note is the “You’ve been gone all day, why
don’t you love me?” yodel. A mixture of a bark, a cry and a howl, this
is one funny sound to hear at the end of a long day. They say you should
ignore your dog when you get home and only greet them when they’re
absolutely calm but Digby has other ideas. He lies down where he knows
you’ll see him (on the bed, the couch or at your feet) and looks up
before he lets rip. It’s hard not to reward him for it because when you
laugh he knows he’s got what he wants and that is undivided attention.
The sigh of frustration, though only sort of a sound is another of
his quirks. To get this one all you need to do is get out a treat and
hold it without saying a word. He’ll go through his tricks and then when
he’s exhausted everything (including headbutting you with no response)
he’ll sigh and drop his head to his paws. Super cute and excellent for
training him to settle down.
Although it’s even less of a sound that the previous sigh of
frustrations, one of the the last is what we like to call “sleepy
mouth”. Much like a human he’ll sometimes wake up form a nap and spend a
few moments opening and closing his mouth. The sound, although very
faint, is a little slapping noise usually followed by a yawn. If you
want a cuddle this is the best time to get one – he’s still waking up so
he can’t fight it.
There are a whole series more that are probably worth writing about
too, like the posessed demon who usually comes out when he’s around
other rambunctious little dogs. Like something out of a horror movie
it’s actually a little frightening when you aren’t expecting it. Maybe
he is part gremlin after all. He’s often mistaken for one at least.