Marley, Barkley, Rover, King, Prince, Duke, Fido, Rex, Bowser and ME!

Okay, here’s something I’ve been kinda wondering about for a long, long time and I’m hoping this vast network of bloggers, blog-readers and friends, family and acquaintances of bloggers and blog-readers can answer for me.

It’s kind of ridiculous. And I probably shouldn’t even be wasting your time with this. So you can leave now if you want.

Okay, if you’re still here, then here it goes…

As you know, I walk a lot. On my travels, especially my early morning travels, I almost always encounter dogs.  Small dogs, medium-sized dogs and big dogs.

Whenever I encounter a big dog something weird happens — well not “whenever” as in always, but most of the time… almost always. The dog will suddenly see me, freeze in his tracks and stare at me like I’m the most absolutely bizarre and completely unfathomable thing he’s ever seen in his entire life.

The faces of these dogs — every one of them – says “total bewilderment” loud and clear.  I can see their big doggie brains working furiously, trying to figure something really important out.

Sometimes the dog will cock his head to the right, very, very  slowly. Then he’ll cock his head to the left, very, very slowly.  His eyes are wide and puzzled. His expression is utter befuddlement. It’s unmistakable.

It’s most strange.

If the owner isn’t paying attention, he’ll try to get the dog to move by tugging on the leash or  urging the dog on; but the dog won’t move; won’t take his bewildered eyes off me.

If the owner is paying attention, he gets just as befuddled as his dog, except because of his dog, not because of me. I think.

 Sometimes the owner will just laugh. Sometimes he’ll say something like, “What the hell are you doing Fido?”

Sometimes I ask the owner or even the dog what the dog is doing. The owner just shrugs. The dog just keeps staring and looking bewildered. Neither of them have any idea about anything.

Sometimes, if the owner looks chatty, I’ll tell him that big dogs do this to me all the time so he won’t think there’s something wrong with his dog. One dog owner thought his dog looked hypnotized. More than one dog owner has said he’s never seen his dog do that before. And then they look at me quizzically. 

None of the dogs have ever made any attempt to approach me. Even when I speak to the dogs, they just stand there and stare.

And they keep staring until I’m out of sight. (Okay, I’m assuming they stop then, but who knows? I turn around every once in a while to see if they’re still staring and they always are. Eventually I can’t see them anymore, so I figure if they can’t see me anymore they stop staring.)

Anyhow, what do you reckon is going on here? What should I do? How do I answer the burning questions behind these poor mutts’ eyes?

I should point out (and perhaps those who know me can back me up) that I do not look or dress in any particularly outlandish manner. I never wear sparklers on my head or strobe lights on my clothing. I don’t walk around juggling cats or dragging silent vacuum cleaners behind me (Because that would be puzzling to a dog, wouldn’t it?) And, as far as I know, no part of me emits high-frequency whistling noises.

Thank you.

 PS: I do not have this effect on any other living creature.

39 responses to “Marley, Barkley, Rover, King, Prince, Duke, Fido, Rex, Bowser and ME!

  1. I have NO idea and can’t help you I’m afraid! As long as the dogs don’t want to attack you, I’d say you are okay??? Why don’t you do what Cesar Millan (Dog Whisperer) or Brad Pattison (At the End of My Leash) do for a living and help people correct their dogs bad behaviours! You seem to have some secret tool that gets them to stop and pay attention! Freaky! Now I want you to post a picture of yourself!!!!!!!!!!!!

  2. Just a guess – but you are a vegetarian and maybe your scent reflects this and puzzles the hell out of a dog who expects humans to be omnivores. I am not at all sure this is valid, though, if all dogs do it regardless of how close you are and whether you are upwind or downwind as you approach.
    I have seen your photo and you are beautiful; perhaps they are all admiring you.
    Do you walk silently? That would puzzle them as most people flap their feet.
    It’s a fascinating observation. Pity we have no dogs who blog.

  3. Wowie … that sure is interesting! I’m just as curious now … hopefully some wise reader will impart their knowledge! 🙂

  4. That’s a real puzzler. I’m looking forward to the comments to see if anyone has heard of this. Mary G’s theories are interesting. Maybe you have a brain tumour that is emitting a certain frequency sound that only large dogs can hear. But I sure hope not.

  5. How can I say this gently? XUP,…… were adopted. Your real parents are Elvis and his lover from the planet Rygal 5. Dogs are sensitive to extraterrestrials. They are also stunned by your clear resemblance to the King.

    That’s my theory. I am curious why it is only the big dogs that behave this way.

  6. You clearly have a guardian angel over your shoulder that only dogs over a certain height can see. A guardian angel made of bacon. (Ironic, for a vegetarian!)

  7. Thank god I wasn’t drinking my coffee… the juggling cats comment would have surely choked me.

    First thought is that you must be a freak. Dogs are excellent judges of character and I’m sure it must be because they have never come across anything like you before.

    And it’s only the big dogs because they’re the smart ones.

    Have you ever had repeated encounters with the same big dog? Do they warm up to you eventually.

    Don’t worry, I’d take it as a complement.

  8. Betsy – It’s only big dogs and I don’t think they’d listen to me because there’s no reaction when I talk to them. So I think my dog whispering career would be limited to only getting them sometimes to stand still. There can’t be a big market for that, can there?

    Mary – It’s not all dogs – only big dogs and not even every single one of them. Some pass by without a second glance. But most do the staring thing. I do walk pretty quietly. Like a ninja – maybe they can’t see me either? That would be puzzling. Ha ha

    Quack – I know. Weird, eh? Your dogs have never done anything like this???

    Geewits – Thanks. That’s exactly what I wanted to hear… brain tumour. That would explain a lot!! But then I would have had to have had it for the last 30 years or so. Is that possible?

    Dr. Monkey – Ya, that’s it. Irresistible. It would be even more interesting if humans did this when I passed by. Or monkeys.

    LGS – Ha ha. I thought you were going to say I was raised by wolves and dogs can smell wolf on me, but I don’t look much like a wolf so this confuses them. It would also explain the big dog thing…because little dogs are pretty far removed from their wolf ancestors. Hey, it’s as good as your theory.

    Loth – Ha ha ha haha haha hhaaaa!! A bacon angel… wouldn’t they be attacking me then? Even people might attack me if I had a bacon angel. Is that what they mean by “sizzling hot”??

    Christine – It’s not that they’re afraid of me. Just stumped. I’ve never tried to approach them because that just never seemed like a good idea under the circumstances. But I’ve patted and smoochied and played with plenty of dogs and they never recoiled in horror. Also, is that “big dogs are smarter” a scientific fact or just your personal prejudice?

    Nat – I could see why tofu would confuse them. It confuses everyone. But I don’t think it’s a smell thing, because they’re not sniffing and not coming over to get a better whiff, which is what dogs would normally do with odd or interesting scents, rigth? It’s totally visual and they’re looking at my face — so it’s not even my sensible shoes that amazes them.

  9. As anyone who studies animal behavior could tell you, cats are female and dogs are male. The larger the dog the more male they are and there you have it, the large dogs are overcome at first sight of you, but don’t forget in spite of their size they are only preteens and so have no idea how to actually approach and deal with a beautiful woman.
    This is also the explanation of why Bazel constantly attacks you. Its jealousy. They don’t call them cat fights for nothing.

  10. I’m wary of dogs who are quiet and stare….You can’t read their body language as easily, you never know what they do next.

    Could be a warning sigh…they’re unsure of you, or they’re exerting dominance.

    Happened to me last year. A woman’s huge Mastiff was staring at me like you say. No tail wagging, no enthusiasm, no barking, no growling. Nothing.

    Me (being a dog person), I asked if he has friendly. The woman said “yes”, so I bent down to pet him.

    Freaking Cujo lunged suddnely at my face and the sonnavabitch BIT me. He punctured my chin, just under my lip.

    Lucky it wasn’t too serious, but I bled like stuck pig, and I had to go to Emerg to get it glued shut.

    In hindsight, I should have realized enough to stay away. The dog’s body language is wrong. He was quiet…TOO quiet.

    (As opposed to dumb mutts like Brett’s dog, who lunges at the leash, tail wagging, because he wants to play with you.

  11. Yes, just my personal prejudice. I don’t like little dogs. But Freak doesn’t = Scary. You’re reading it wrong. Freak = different. Freak = good. Dogs (the big smart ones) know this and are just simply stunned when they come face to face with it.

    Like coming face to face with pure genius. I think I’d be a little shell shocked too.

  12. It’s your aura, although since dogs are supposed to be color blind, they just see it as a grey cloud and they’re waiting to see if it rains.

    Heck, I got nothin here. Husband cracked up at the juggling cats line though and then said you were a reincarnated queen and they are so attune to life’s energy that they are waiting for your command. Try saying, “I command you to bow.” And see what happens.

    I bet they haul you away. The odd news is that husband NEVER says things like this, so your aura is working over the internet from far away on man now.

  13. Bandobras – Huh?? My cat is very male and he’d eat one of your limbs for daring to call him female.

    Guillermo – If I was wearing a cat woman outfit, you’d think they would just chase me up a tree or something, wouldn’t you?

    Hannah – No, I can discern their features clearly. I don’t usually wander around in the dark.

    Friar – I would certainly never approach them, even they don’t look menacing in any way — just puzzled. But I’ve had my face bitten off by a dog before (when I was a kid) and I wouldn’t like to do that again.

    Christine – I really don’t look freaky in any way. Really. I really don’t. Ask anyone. Really!

    Sky – I thought for sure one of you all would know, but as a last (next) resort I guess I’ll have to ask a famous dog guy.

    Jazz – That only some large dogs can truly appreciate, right?

    Dave – No, I never wear a hat. I have funny hair though.

    Savanvleck – Cool! I hope I only use this new power for good and not for evil world domination or anything.

    Tiana – Now we’re getting somewhere. Sort of like what Savanvleck has suggested. My past live Supreme Dog Ruler soul is still visible to big dogs. If only I’d known sooner — what I could have accomplished!!

  14. I have the same effect on adults.

    I think it is what Mary G. says, you are a veggie and he is wondering why you smell different than the rest of humankind. Of course you can’t be the only veggie that large dogs have encountered. It’s the hair…they all wonder…WHO DOES HER HAIR??? Dogs are all gay like that….really.

  15. This is interesting and fun. I half subscribe to an aura theory because I half believe I have some sort of aura. Mine makes things like watches and computers not work. But once this old guy stopped me on the street and told me I had a really interesting aura. And he claimed he didn’t even want money, although he was willing to have me buy him a coffee while we talked about it. Unfortunately (or not) I was on my way to an appointment so I never did find out anything about my aura.

    Since I am working on an energy theory (“energy” in the sense that the Dog Whisperer talks about) and energy can equate to aura, I would say that you must have an interesting aura. Now, as to why it puzzles these dogs, I cannot say.

  16. Bob – But I WAS juggling cats at the time, wasn’t I?? Are you back from your rainy vacation? Did you get any sun??

    Cedar – Well, when you hack off a dog’s man sack or lady pouch without consulting them, there’s bound to be some sexual confusion. You’re probably right about the hair.

    Julia – The aura theory half makes some sort of half-sense because that’s exactly what the experience feels like to me — like they’re seeing something mighty odd and puzzling about my head area. I think I’ll save the whole aura discussion for another blog post though. Thanks for the idea — stay tuned!!

  17. I have no answer for you but the part about the head tilt and befuddlement is fascinating. There doesn’t seem to be any aggression, right?

  18. I know I am right about the hair…they are all like…Her hair is FABULOUSSSSSSS…I must stare…no…I must not stare…it is rude…but…I can’t look away…I wonder if she is wondering what I am staring at…no humans are so clueless…wish I could sniff her butt.

    I know the animal mind, the human mind…not so much.

  19. Mo – No overt aggression and yet I would (and do) hesitate to approach a dog in this situation. I don’t know why exactly except I have a healthy respect for big, strange dogs.

    Cedar – You should get a dog. You could go for long, lovely walks together and meet all sorts of people. There’s nothing more social than a bunch of dog walkers. And a nice doggie would make you laugh and give you a really important reason to get up in the morning.

    Trashee – Have you seen that TV ad where the woman proposes to the man and she gets on her knees and opens a box of bacon to present to him (instead of the traditional ring box)?? Eeewwww. That’s got nothing to do with this post, but your comment reminded me of that ad.

    Alison – They keep staring even if I stand still. Got a smarty pants comment for that?

    Linda – I hate vacuum cleaners. I don’t even like dragging one around the house

  20. Woodsy – I’ll be asleep at 9:30 tonight or well on the way. We could just ask next time we stumble across him during a hike in the bush.

    Hallie – That would be fun. So far, most of my magical powers haven’t been revealed to me though.

  21. i have no idea about it but i think it’s really cool that it happens, especially if they aren’t aggressive with you. i would take it as a good sign, that you are some kind of magical being to the dogs.

    this will sound crazy but i think we can communicate with animals if we are patient enough. cats are said to be psychic and believe it based on my experiences with my cats.

    there is an active process of training dogs to detect diseases like cancer. i’ve heard countless stories of how dogs notice it in their owners, maybe by licking a certain spot on their leg or something. i think that is very cool.

  22. Leah – I try to communicate with my cat and sometimes he seems to know exactly what I’m saying and other times he just doesn’t get it. Like, “Bazel, I would keep petting you if you’d stop biting me…don’t you understand??? I DON’T LIKE GETTING BITTEN” He never gets it.