Tag Archives: coping in the human world

Little dogs are brave souls

Last week we talked about how little dogs have a different view of the world. Can you even imagine living in a world where everything, literally everything, is bigger than you are? It got us thinking that little dogs are brave. Amazingly so.

We aren’t big people – Fran is “taller” at 5’ 2 ¾” (she insists on the ¾), and Hope is downright short at 5-foot nuthin’. And there are lots of things we can’t do, or see, without step stools, or ladders, or climbing foolishly on top of things we probably shouldn’t. The potato chips are stored on top of the refrigerator so giving in to temptation requires effort. It usually works.

Everything requires effort

Picture of a brave little dog in a red sweater next to a person's jeans-clad legs and sneakers.

Think, just for a minute, about the tremendous expenditure of exertion and timing for a Chihuahua to climb a flight of stairs. When the dog isn’t even as tall as two steps. It’s the equivalent of a person climbing a 10+ story building in seconds. How amazing is that! And how daunting for the dog when it’s learning to navigate around the house.

Little dogs can’t see what’s up there – anywhere. Everything they do, or try, is based on the trust they have that you won’t steer them wrong.

Leap of faith

Hope has had French Bulldogs for decades. A few years ago she and her dog Teddy were visiting a friend and staying at their home. Teddy was very accustomed to jumping up on furniture to see better, or get closer. He was following Hope’s friend around her house one day – including into the bathroom. He’d never seen a furniture-styled built-in tub before. He jumped. And landed “PLOP!” in the deep, empty tub. 

He was fine – but a little untrusting for a while. The world as he knew it had sturdy surfaces, not hollow, slippery bits to trap dogs!

Take a look around

Every place your dog goes, everything you do together, is because your dog trusts you. Can you imagine being a visitor on an alien planet where everyone is bigger than you, you can’t understand anything people say, you don’t know how anything works. Not to mention the noise! You have no idea what all the noisy things do, or whether or not they’ll hurt you!

There are terrifying things all around us in the environment. The puppy in the house sits and stares when we’re outside and he hears a car go by. Or lawn mowers, string trimmers, and leaf blowers. Not even mentioning the garbage truck or the sound of backing up!

Appreciate your dog’s courage

If you’re ever impatient because your dog seems wary of some new thing – like your new robotic vacuum cleaner, give them some credit. The only reason they can function in our world is because they love and trust us. Dogs truly are amazing creatures.