Wednesday, January 27, 2010

The mystery of that 'magical' patch of grass and more ...

Hello there!

I suppose what I've observed as the Dog Woods Pack idiosyncrasies is possibly common to most dogs.

I've often wondered about that 'magical' patch of grass that seem to draw the entire pack to have a good roll in that one particular spot of the lawn.  What is it about that patch of grass that deserves extra 'rolling' attention from the dog to the rest of the lawn?  Interestingly enough, that patch is never always at the same place.  It's here, it's there ... sometimes it's no where!

So what is it about that magical grassy patch?  The smell?  Age poo?  What? It's not exactly foul smelling (yes, I've even bothered to take a closer whiff to unearth the mystery of that magical grassy patch).  I've not quite figured that out yet ... it's possibly something that's beyond most human senses.  Possibly some dried up worm or long dead bug ... maybe even bird poo ...

Anyone got a good guess?

Then there's the question of their eye sight.  How far or short sighted they are.  I can't quite decide whether Joe the Rottweiller whom I play fetch with almost every evening is short sighted or long .... while seems to detect thrown objects fairly well.  He seems to be able to predict it's thrown trajectory very accurately ... yet when he momentarily loses it (like his ball for example) he seems to miss the toy even if it's hidden right in front of him.  Instead of sight he relies on his sense of smell to sniff out his missing toy.  He doesn't seem to notice that I'm pointing out his toy to him ...

Yesterday night, Joe fell into fairly large uncovered drain right outside the house.  I thought he would have seen it had he not been blinded by my car headlights.  Perhaps a dog's sight don't adjust quite as quickly when they are stared with sudden bright lights.  It was a good thing Joe was unhurt and was able to hop back out of the drain (it wasn't very deep).  I was a little concern though - I heard a distinct thud.  And most thuds are usually painful.

Trixie, Anna and the Furkids on the other hand are fairly long sighted dogs.  Something or someone running from a distant and they pick it up and give chase.  I've seen them give chase many times to squirrels scampering across the telephone wires above (yes our wires are still 'hung' on poles, not buried underground in most developed places) or birds strutting about on the branches above ....not that the pups can fly but they can't help but create a fuss anyway...

While the basset hounds - their nose makes up for any short sightedness (which I don't think they suffer from).  Even the tiniest morsel of delicious smelling food they're able to pick up.  You can tell they know you have something yummy in hand when their nose start twitching.  It's all quite amusing to observe.

The thing about all members of the pack is their super charged hearing.  They'd come running expectantly - no matter how far away, they here any packaging being rustle!  It's almost hilarious.  Sometimes a false alarm - since I do come home every now and again with bags of groceries.  They've since come to associate the rustling of packets with treats!


  1. The khombo of eye and ear placement make us pretty inkhredibly interesting!

    Fakhtor in our snooter prowess and we soooo rule!

    Tank woo fur sharing the special grassy hangout!


  2. What an interesting post!

    I'm not sure what Marge's eye sight is like.. I just know that she can zoom in on a cookie like the best of them!

  3. Very interesting musings here today. Phantom's hearing seems to be failing and Mom doesn't think he has very good distance vision at all, but his sniffer is in tip top shape. He comes running when he gets the tiniest scent of something he likes. And he takes off like a shot as soon as he smells his Frontline.

    Woos, Phantom and Thunder

  4. hmm I think the nose points your eyes towards the prize :)

  5. I actually tried to talk to the vet about Gretchen's poor night vision. She wouldn't jump up into the bed if the lights were off, which has never phased any of the other dogs, and there were other things too...

    Thanks for the reminder. She had her physical last week, but I'll mention it to new vet next week when Sis goes in, and if she wants to check G's eyes...

  6. Oh how I've wondered over the eyesight thing.

    I've two babies, SharPei brother and sissy, Bobo and Meja.

    Now on playing chase the ball, stuffy, bone, etc., Meja will play and play. If I fake throw it and just toss it a bit, she'll search it out and find it. Anything to continue the game.

    Bobo on the other hand will chase and chase if I throw it but if I fake him out, even if I point to exactly where the toy is he will walk away.
    As if to say 'I shall not be toyed with in this manner!!! I shall leave you to play alone.'

  7. I have given up wondering why everyone has to roll is just 'that' spot - I reckon with ours one has to pee exactly on top of where the other has - each wants their scent to be the one!
    The eyesight - who knows. Bailey is blind in one eye and yet her sight is better than Martha's.
    When she is in the woods it is amazing what she can spot - Martha is usually still sniffing the deer or squirrel when Bailey has spotted it.
    Like humans they are all different I guess.

  8. Hi--
    We just found your blog. I grew up with Bassets and my family still has two. It looks like you and your pack have some fun times!

  9. My mom wonders the same about grass spots to roll on! Maybe what is interesting for us... it is not for humans, right?
    Take care
    Kisses and hugs

  10. I love your post!! I guess having different breeds of doggies allow you to spot the 'differences' in each breed and it is something that other's may take for granted!

    I have 2 dogs of different breeds but I swear they have one thing in common - selective hearing!! :P

  11. Boy, you hit on some of the mysteries that have bothered me for a long time. I've gotten down on my hands and knees to look for whatever it is in the spot of grass that is so interesting. They will all go over to it, scratch it a little, then roll over and over. I don't see or smell anything.

    Lucy, our little dog who died last year was near sighted. She would bark at people until she got quite close and then she recognized them and would wiggle and her bark would change to yips. Morgan is going blind, so we know she has trouble, both in dark places and in bright sunlight. It doesn't stop her from doing anything.

    My dogs can hear cheese being cut, but call them when they want to stay outside and play and they can't hear a thing.


  13. Grumpy Bobby is not getting the last word!lol

    My Scottie Otis developed cataracts on both eyes and they affected his vision when only the vet could see them with her light. That is something to consider when vision begins to get poor.

    Cheers and hugs,

    Jo and Stella