The Tall Stranger
#1
There was an interesting instance I'm going to try to describe but probably loose to text. So forgive me if you read this and it makes no sense or you can't envision it - I didn't catch it on film in any way.

So as stated in another thread, we had a massively over-populated party in my brother's 1 bedroom apartment (literally almost 22 people). As they were coming in, the first to arrive were people that Ember knew from before we moved. So she was out and happily greeting everyone, though noticeably getting a little slower as more people showed up.

About the 8th person to show up was a new "stranger" that neither of us had met until that day. This gentleman is around my age and about a head taller than me. And solidly built at that. Ember was making her rounds and sniffing legs without really looking up. She went up to his knees and as she sniffed, I guess she realized it was much higher than she realized. As she sniffed, her head came up - and up and up and up. And as her head went up her tail began to tuck. It was this moment "oh crap you're a really big guy" that was very obvious and absolutely hilarious. Still, she sniffed, stood indecisively for a second, then moved away when he decided to try for a pet. No biggie, no harm no foul - and she went on to the next person.

Well, as there was a lull in arrivals and people were generally not moving around a lot, Ember came back to me with a happy wag. So I decided to see where she was mentally and broke out some low value treats to see if she'd be willing to work for them. I asked for really simple stuff like a sit and her default wave / high five. She was working with almost 10 people in the house at this point, ignoring most of everyone. Seeing how well she was doing, I asked her for a spin. She started to go around, and as she did, caught sight of Big Tall Guy behind her (he hadn't moved and he wasn't THAT close, so it's not like he was in her space). Her head completely locked on him and stood still while her body followed the spin around for a few steps - and then froze. She didn't tuck, didn't make a sound, didn't move. Her eyes were wide (but not whale eyed, almost but not that look).

It was the most blank expression I've ever seen on her. Not even her body could come up with something to say.

I tried everything to get her to break eye contact - called her name, waved my hand in front of her eyes. She was literally STUCK staring at him again. And what made it funny was her body language was tight but not afraid - it was like her brain just completely short circuited. I had to push against her neck from one side and walk into her to get her to take a few steps and even then she just couldn't stop staring at him. That's about the time I put her in my brother's room and shut the door to let her decompress but by this time I was laughing so hard. By the time she did break eye contact she waved her tail at me and scooped the treat she had left on the floor up as we walked off.

I have never seen her brain short circuit like that. She literally had no clue how to respond to his presence and couldn't seem to decide if he was worth fearing, was just interesting, or could be ignored completely.

By the end of the night when we let her out again (by her own choice), she ended up sitting with him for several minutes. He was on the floor so that obviously helped a little. But oh man, if you want to know how to blow a short BC's mind, introduce her to some one who's well over 6'.


Even funnier was that there was another guy there who was about the same height and maybe twice the weight of Big Tall Guy wearing fox ears and a fox tail (it was a Halloween party), and she greeted him normally.
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Gotcha Day: November 14, 2015
Vet-Listed Birthday: May 2, 2014
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#2
It might not have anything to do with the mans height particularly when she did not behave the same way with another taller, bigger guy. There are so many things about each individual person that speak to a dog and it could be any number of things or combination of things including or not including his height.
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#3
LOL True that Trifan. I think what makes me stick there is the way she just kept look up higher and higher at him so slowly, like she was looking for his face and the higher she looked the more astounded she got. It was that slowly raising head as she sniffed and equally slowly tucking tail the higher the head went. It's so hard to describe.
[Image: e5Qmm5.png]


Gotcha Day: November 14, 2015
Vet-Listed Birthday: May 2, 2014
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#4
Only yesterday I had a conversation with our vet nurse about what makes dogs react so differently to just one person. Max had behaved out of character while on the vet table having his shots. The consult room looks out over the street with a window that can be seen out of but not seen into. Max is accustomed to seeing people outside whether walking or standing and chatting. Well, this guy stopped outside the window and Max went into full alert eventually culminating in a growls and barking with full intent.
The nurse related an incident to me that she experienced with her cattle dog. She was at a country music festival where there were hundreds of people. Her dog zeroed in on one guy amidst the crowd, not even particularly close to them and the dog went into full alert followed by low growls. She walked on with him before it reached barking but he was straining on the leash in the direction of the guy and it was not with good intentions. Jeez, I'd love to spend a day in the brain of a dog hahaha
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#5
When I first got Mattie she didn't like men, except my son.  Mattie adored him and would hide in his room when she was frightened (many times a day when we first got her) and if I was away from the house Mattie would stay close to my son.  Mattie was afraid of my husband and afraid of any man that came to the house until a friend of my daughter came to visit and then a friend of my son.  Both adults in their early 20s and she adored them.  So I wondered if she was fine with younger men?  But how would she know how old they were?  

I didn't figure it out until we had our property fenced (we have an acre, so a lot of fence).  My husband, son, and a friend were building the fence and they all came in for lunch.  By this time Mattie had learned to love my husband and was OK with most of the men that came to visit.  Mattie was terrified of the friend.  I watched the friend and over a couple of weekend lunches  figured it out.  He had a gravelly voice.  He is a really lovely person but his voice is like a growl.  And I thought back to all the men Mattie liked, didn't like, was terrified of and it fell into place.  The young men Mattie liked so much were the type to talk to her in happy, sweet, tone.  They way people will often do when speaking to a small child.  

So why was this guy different?  Don't you wish you could ask her?
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#6
You have to wonder if she had never seen a human that was quite that shape and just really couldn't figure out if he really was a human.
Gotta love 'em.
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