Do Dogs Get Pissed?

I’ve seen dogs get mad. Obviously, they get aggressive. And I’ve seen dogs not like a particular person.

But I’ve never seen a dog behave like Mrs. Wigglebottom is behaving. Hell, I’ve never seen Mrs. Wigglebottom behave how Mrs. Wigglebottom is behaving. If you’ve been over, you know that you arrive, there’s much barking and bottom wiggling and attempts to sit on your lap and to get all of the butt scratches you have to give.

But when the Butcher returned home, Mrs. Wigglebottom got up off the couch and went and got in my closet. No barking, no wiggling. And, like right now, since she’s sure the Butcher is asleep, she’s in there sleeping on the floor where she can keep an eye on him, but when he stirs, she rushes into my room so that, I guess, he doesn’t see that she cares?

I don’t know how to understand this, since it would seem to take a level of emotional sophistication both that I didn’t know dogs had and that I’ve never seen her exhibit. Because it’s like she has two contradictory emotions. She seems glad he’s home–in secret, where he can’t see it–and completely unbothered by his reappearance, less than impressed, even.

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7 thoughts on “Do Dogs Get Pissed?

  1. Here is some pop dog-pack psychology: in the wild, there is no reason for a dog to leave the pack and stay away for more than a few hours, so when the Butcher disappeared, Mrs. Wigglebottom assumed that he had died. Now he’s back. She can’t figure out if he is a ghost or a zombie. I’d be scared, too.

  2. Ha ha ha. But you know, it does make me wonder if she expects him to earn his way back into the pack. She’s been ignoring him when he calls her name and, even though she clearly has to shit, has been refusing to go out for him. It was a little better last night–she went out for him, but when she came back in, she got in bed with me, rather than hang out with him watching tv.

  3. Years ago, I had to leave my cat with a friend for a few months while I moved across the country, found an apartment, etc. When I came back and walked in my friend’s front door, my cat heard me from the other end of the house and came running — and then stopped about six feet away, stuck his tail straight up in the air, and turned around and walked out of the room. I got that treatment for a good few weeks, but then everything settled back to normal.

  4. Youve seen Mrs. W hide her physical vulnerability before. Now she is hiding her emotional vulnerability. It makes sense to me that an animal like a dog for whom social status is very important would do these things. It also makes sense to me that she would want to maintain her bond with the Butcher, especially now. There’s a conflict there I guess. It’s interesting.

  5. I have definitely seen animals use lack of attention or other behaviors to punish a human who did something they didn’t approve of (like go away for long periods). My brother had a cat that would, when he locked it outside the bedroom for yowling, go pull his clothes (and only his clothes, out of four family members) out of the hamper and poop on them. Mrs. W. is happy he’s back but also hurt that he left. She doesn’t know if it’s ok to trust him/be friends again. She’ll get over it in a little while.

  6. And it’s also a matter of pack position…when Butcher left, she was (in her mind) promoted. She even made nice with the cat. Now he waltzes back in? Screw you, bud.

  7. I’ve definitely seen the cats behave in ways that lead me to believe they’re upset with me or with the Butcher. But I guess what I find so stunning is that I am witnessing the dog be relieved that the Butcher is home privately while being a butt to him to his face. It’s not like I think she’s faking being mad at him. But I’m just floored that she obviously has two contradictory sets of emotions.

    I mean, I’ve known her most of her life and I think I know her pretty well. And it freaks me out a little to realize that she might have private feelings about me that she’s purposefully keeping from me.

    It’s just a level of emotional sophistication I didn’t believe dogs had. Wrongly. Clearly.

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