Under One Woof

Humber Et Cetera's Pets and Animals Blog

Dog quirks = life’s simple pleasures

on February 14, 2012

PHOTO BY SARAH HORWATH. Oliver giving me the "stink eye."

By Sarah Horwath

I think all pet owners can agree that their pet has its own unique personality.

Whether it’s certain expressions, habits or quirks, each pet is different and has special qualities that make us love them even more.

I noticed within the first couple of days that I had Oliver that he had certain facial expressions that indicated that he had a bit of an attitude.

Right away he seemed to give me the “stink eye” whenever I did something that he didn’t like.

For example: when I started taking pictures of him.

He hates getting his picture taken. I can always tell by his expression that he is probably thinking to himself – “Not again” or “I have better things to do.”

Another thing that Oliver is known for is staring at people.

He stares, or rather, glares when he is mad, trying to get attention, or deep in thought.

I remember taking a road trip recently to visit some relatives with my boyfriend Alex. Of course Alex sat in the front passenger seat and Oliver was not pleased at all. That was his spot. Oliver stared at Alex the entire trip, which was roughly a three-hour drive.

I thought that Oliver would at least have a little rest or chew on the new bone that I had given him, but instead he just glared at Alex. You could tell that he was thinking – “How could you?”

Oliver glared at Alex the entire way home as well. Needless to say, Alex was very intimidated by little Oliver.

Another quality I have noticed about Oliver is that he loves to look at himself in the mirror. Not only does he stare at his own reflection, but he also stares at me while looking into the mirror. At first I found this a little creepy.

I tried to explain Oliver’s new habit to my brother John, and when he finally witnessed Oliver staring at us while looking into the mirror, John said it was like Oliver was from the fantasy world of Narnia.

Sometimes I wonder if Oliver is just vain or if he really does see something or someone staring in the mirror back at him.

It’s like this movie that I loved watching when I was growing up called The Hugga Bunch – in it a young girl travels through her mirror with a puppet into a place called Hugga Land.  When I see clips of this movie now I can’t believe how I ever watched it when I was younger because it is so scary!

I try to laugh when Oliver his having “mirror time,” but I can’t help but still be a little creeped-out.

I haven’t heard about any other dogs doing this – most dogs bark at themselves in the mirror because they don’t realize it’s themselves; others cry while looking at their reflection because they are confused and can’t understand why this other dog looking back won’t play with them.

Oliver’s little quirks and expressions make me laugh everyday. I could be having the worst day and he always manages to cheer me up by doing these simple things.

I love how he is just being himself and doesn’t realize the happiness that he brings me.

I think it’s amazing that as pet owners our pets can help us find joy or humour in the smallest things. If only more humans could help us do that.

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2 responses to “Dog quirks = life’s simple pleasures

  1. Salem Alaton says:

    Interestingly, my dog has no interest at all in his reflection in a mirror or in a TV image of another dog (he may perk up a bit at the sound of a TV dog barking, however). I’ve always ascribed this to the lack of smell the two-dimensional character has. Nothing is quite real for our Labrador if it doesn’t carry an odour.

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