EXCERPT from FEIGNING FEAR? by Dr. JC “Kay” Neine in VIVAcini! 07 Sep 2012
Recently at the dog park, I observed a father and daughter
playing with a young black Lab mix. We’ll call him “Boomer.” It
was a nice, cloudy and cool afternoon, with storm clouds building
to the east. Although the thunder was not yet audible to us
humans, Boomer was already showing signs of distress. He knew
what was coming thanks to his acute sense of hearing or perhaps
because he felt the change in barometric pressure or both.
Boomer’s interest in Frisbee was waning quickly, his panting
became more elevated, with lots of tongue flicking and his tail
was dropping lower between his legs. When he refused to chase
the Frisbee and started pacing about nervously, the girl, about
12 years old, called to him and held out a treat.
He immediately came over, she hugged him and offered him
the treat which he refused. Immediately the father called out to
her to NOT do that. “You’re teaching him to be afraid.”
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