Sunday Thoughts (a dog interview?)

Something happened to me recently, and it stuck with me. So I thought I’d share it. 

Maybe if you have a dog, something like this has happened to you.

Since we moved to Florida, and it’s our first experience with a pool, we wanted to get on a regular maintenance schedule. 

Gotta keep it clean and safe. 

And I probably should have asked around, but I saw a “pool guy” in the neighborhood and basically signed up on the spot. 

But from the very first day, my dog Ellie did NOT like this man.

Just the sound of his truck pulling up had her on edge. She barked her head off. She paced. She generally wanted him out of our yard and out of our lives. 

Every. Single. Time. 

At first, I chalked it up to the big hat this guy wore. I mean, really big. Working out in the sunshine all day, you have to stay protected. 

But this hat was VERY big, like nothing I – or Ellie for that matter – had ever seen before. No wonder she was freaked out, I thought.

As the days and weeks went by, it became more apparent that my pool guy wasn’t all he was cracked up to be. He’d miss his regular rounds. He’d do a marginal job.

And Ellie would look at me like “I told you so.” Hat or not, this guy had to go.

So we decided to find a new guy. Once we did, everyone was happy. The pool looks great. I’m actually saving money. 

And Ellie LOVES Anthony. (Bonus: Anthony does not have a huge hat).

People always say dogs can smell fear. Or they can recognize a bad person. 

Maybe Ellie did sense something, and she was trying to tell me?

I dug into this a bit, and I did find an interesting study that sort of bears this out.

A team of researchers in Japan decided to trick dogs, in the name of science. 

If you have a dog you know that usually if you point to something, your dog will run to it. So during this experiment, they pointed to a container that had hidden treats inside. 

Sure enough, the dog ran over and – yay – free snacks!

But the second time, they pointed to an empty container. When the dogs ran over, nothing. What gives?

When they pointed to a third container, the dogs said “the heck with you.” They didn’t go. 

Because they now knew the researchers were liars. 

They tried this with 34 different dogs, and not a single one trusted enough to be faked out again. 

So, the takeaway is, if you lie to your dog, your dog may form the opinion that your word is no good. 

Or at least, dogs value predictability. When things are inconsistent, they tap out.

Either way, the next time I hire someone, I may bring Ellie along. Because she’s proven to me to be a pretty good judge of talent. 

And hats. 

Enjoy the rest of your weekend.

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Comments

gary m totten - May 24, 2021

yes . . i read ur e-mails . . ime 72 goin on 35yrs young . . grew up onna farn south of wichita ks . . .we had blak angus cattle . . milk cows . . a horse . . 2 dogs . .(medium size) . . penny faced down a badger (i think my ole man said it was) . .an attacked it . .bout 4am in the morn . .animals . .are .knott . .stupid . .if anything . .the ’’humans’’ are . . .i had 2 dobermans also in the mid 70’s here in wichita . .great dogs . .i have none now . .(ime still in south east wichita no place 4a dog ’ ’or cat . .darnnitt . .mayb sumday again . .whew . .! . .thankx 4 readin my babble . .i was in the navy . .(active . .70-74 . .last yr in florida . .jacksonville . .went to st augustine . .luved it . . > > > > > . . .

Maria Montoya - May 24, 2021

Yes , I do have a dog, and I learned they are excellent judges. They smell fear , if a person doesn’t like them , a bad person and much more.

Ken Marx - May 24, 2021

Dogs are smart. They understand somewhere between 400 and 1000 words and they have good sense when it comes to strangers. Some people are afraid of all dogs. That’s a pity. They’re missing one of the great pleasures of life, unconditional love. Dogs also know their territory. It breaks my heart when I hear a dog barking and somebody yells at it to shut up. Although the law says all dogs should be on a lease when in public areas, I walk my beautiful sweet Shih Ziu, only connected by air and she walks with me. I’ve had many people say they couldn’t walk that way because their dog would run away. I can’t say it’s because I trained her. I just loved her and she figured out what to do. Anyway, thanks for your pool man dog story.

Sharon Brooks - May 23, 2021

Hi jeff
I that was so education that a dog have extinct like that , i learn something jeff and no i dont have a
Dog i’ve never own one. Today is
Beautiful.

Lola - May 23, 2021

It’s true. Dogs seem to sense whether or not a person is trustworthy. And it isn’t necessarily gender based. We have had experiences with a female home-health nurse, where our dog wouldn’t stop growling, and a male carpet cleaner, the same. Not because they were strangers – other strangers she has welcomed.

Wendy - May 23, 2021

I had a cat named Cato. He was named after a character in the old Pink Panther movie for a very good reason. He could pick out a bad person without even being close to the person. He would go after them. Cato was leash trained so I would make sure he didn’t get close enough to do damage. He was a Bengal/Bobcat mix. He was very vocal and very friendly, unless you were a bad person. Then he was quiet and ready to attack.

David Wilson - May 23, 2021

Hi Jeff, I just wanted to thank you for the story about your dog Ellie, sounds like you were alert to your dog’s behavior. I have three dogs and they know who the bad guys are. I appreciate all the emails that I receive, however I do feel overwhelmed quite often. I have your magazine with all your great products, and there are several things I still need to get. When funds are available I know where to go to get them. Once I find a quality company like 4Patriots I don’t bother looking any further. I’m glad I found your company so I can rest easy knowing that all the products you provide are made to last, thanks again Jeff and all your hard working crew for all they do, warmest regards, David Wilson.

Carol D. Greene - May 23, 2021

Enjoy you messages soooo much! Keep posting!
Thank you!

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