14 November 2008

You can borrow him next time you go the graveyard at night or have your Thriller nostalgia moment.

Shambling. You know this word, right? The step of the zombie. Slow, deliberate and draggy. Uuuuh, shambly. So you see this movement, it is dark out, and yes. It could be zombies.

One of my dogs, who I wouldn't call a sissy exactly, (you should see him when he's got that shaggy squirrel duck in his mouth), but I would sort of call a sissy, he has zombie phobia. Not an unreasonable fear; we should all be careful and aware of the undead, creatures of the night. Sleepwalking flesh eaters. Not a nice thing to think about, but good to be on your toes. Because you never know.

During the daylight, sissydom, not an issue. Very brave dog. Sort of. Not exactly. Sometimes mistakes stumps on the ground for killer robots sent by the mother ship. But aside from that, very happy to just run around. However, as soon as it gets dark, detection skills change. He becomes skilled in zombie warning. And he is a good warner, I will tell you that right now. Because we definitely do NOT have a problem with zombie invasion on Walk Circle, that, I can tell you now.

By constant high alert status at night, we never have to worry that a trash can out on the street might just be there for garbage night. High alert status means we are prepared and alerted to it's danger as potential zombie trojan horse. Pumpkins, lurking on the porch, high alert. Because could have been rolled there by shambling sonambulists moments before, who are now lurking under the camellia bush ready to snatch a human by the ponytail. And should he happen to see an actual zombie, walking out of the fog, or dark, or corner store carrying a 12 pack, you will know.

Special alert signal? Shrill, high pitched bark. Repeated over and over and over again, until zombie is either irritated away, someone moves the trash can, or someone just hollers, "HEY! KNOCK IT OFF! GOOOOO! SHUT UP! GET IN HERE!" which usually does the trick. I know. I know. I should be awarding prizes to detection behavior. All backwards as a good dog trainer here. Good thing I don't train search and rescue dogs.

Not sure where he got this phobia. Not sure if it has anything to do with sometimes we have tribute to Michael Jackson night at my house and we all have to practice the Thriller dance together? Jacko Classic Dance Party? Gustavo you love this, right? Right? Isn't that dog dancing stuff cool right now? This is how you do it, right? I play MJ and the dogs have to do the zombie part? Some skills you don't want to lose. A good one to keep brushed up on. Maybe we all go practice right now. If someone can find Gustavo.


Anonymous said...

Do we have video of the Jacko Classic Dance Party?????

Elf said...

I've gone through EXACTLY the same thing with Boost with exactly the same training strategy, except that your telling is much more entertaining, I'm sure. Not even certain I could find my posts again. Tika's not so bad, except that people just STANDING there pose an imminent threat to body and limb. Apparently in her world, no one just STANDS and it's extremely suspicious and worth barking ferociously at and pressing one's nubby tail down on one's butt.

So my theory is your dog is really part border collie. If I were clever, I'd remember to grab the video camera to capture Boost's interesting alarm barking experiences, except that it's usually dark.

Anonymous said...

"So my theory is your dog is really part border collie..."

Clearly Gustavo was once a full-sized border collie who has since been shrunken into a Voodoo-doll-sized rendition of a border collie by the Zombies he so rightly fears.

team small dog said...

Probably you will have to use your imagination for Jacko Classic Dance Party. Unless we get super good at it then maybe that would be my ticket to millionaireland. But we would really have to practice A LOT for that. There's a couple MJ moves Black Beauty not really getting.