Irrational Fears

Our sweet dog Nellie is as good as you can get. She's 10 and is now in the mellow stage of life, rather than her past hellion days. She loves walks and going anywhere in the car with us. She does have a few downfalls though, her Irrational Fears.

Vacuum Cleaner
Things that Click and Beep
Hoses and Sprinklers
Vinyl Floors

We keep the mop in a closet in the basement. Whenever she hears the door open she starts pacing. Same with the vacuum, which is in another closet. She starts running all over the house trying to get away when that closet is opened for any reason. As far as I know no one in this house has ever tried to clean her with a mop or suck her up. Microwave beeps don't bother her but the smoke alarm beep does. That could have started when I almost burned the house down by not opening the flue while building a fire. But that was a long time ago, honest. When she hears the smoke alarm beep to tell us to change the battery she starts quaking and sticks right by my side.

Vinyl flooring MUST have rugs on them so she doesn't fall. We didn't used to have rugs in our kitchen but she fell once and now rugs are mandatory, she said so. If the floor is being cleaned by that killer mop then she won't step anywhere near it until we put those rugs down. If you try and make her walk on the floor without them she starts running and then of course she falls. The last time she fell, she looked like Bambi and I had to pick her up. She fell once at her babysitters and now when we go on vacation we have to pack her bed, food, and enough rugs to cover her wood floors. 

She loves being outside with me but steers very clear of anything that looks like a hose and that squirty thing on the end of it. I've seen dogs that love sprinklers and hover over them in the summer. Nellie used to love a wading pool but that's it as far as water goes.

We usually have a fire in the the fireplace once during the weekend. It's so relaxing to listen to the crackling and feel the heat fill the room. Not ol' Nellie though, she retreats to the bedroom all by herself like we are punishing her. She will try and come out, I know she wants to. She gets so far.....almost to her window....and POP goes a log and she runs back in the bedroom. Sigh.

The single most thing that cracks me up though is the timer on one of our lamps. It comes on and turns off without fail twice a day. The turning on click is fine but the noise it makes when shutting off just about sends her through the roof. She's usually lying right behind the chair (which is next to the lamp) looking out the window. CLICK--and then JUMP like she's been shot in the ASS. Every time, twice a day. Why doesn't the poor thing get it? These clicks have never killed anyone in the house that I know of. We don't react with a scream when it happens. Animals sometimes react to how their owners react to things, and I swear we have never freaked out when the lamp turns off. Years of the same lamp being so predictable and all and she acts like she's hearing it for the first time and someone is out to get her.

I didn't realize what a scaredy cat she was until this morning I started to think about all the things that make her cower. She was found as a young homeless pup so I don't believe she lived in a home with all of these scarey things. And I realize that no amount of soothing and babying her will ever change how she feels about these things. We just have to accept the fact that we live with a slightly neurotic dog.



Peruby said…
Oh, what a sweetheart! Reminds me of my dog, Sable. She is afraid of the noise the dishwasher makes. She is also afraid of the vacuum.

No amount of popping would keep her from a fireplace, though. She would plop down in front of it and hog up all the heat!
Grumpy said…
I think they are all neurotic to some extent. The only think that scares Abby enough to run is the vacuum cleaner.

Our previous dog would bark at the light timer in the dining room when it clicked on; the other two timers didn't bother him.
fernvalley01 said…
Skeeter is a bit of a nervous Nellie,(pardon the pun) buit the only shing that scares Winston is the vacum!
bill said…
My dog never said a word, she'd just give you that 'Is this necessary look' and move some other place. But I could tell, she didn't really like noise makers. She wanted everybody to behave themselves.
ethelmaepotter! said…
I feel poor Nellie's pain. I'm a big old scaredy cat myself, and my two little puppy mill dogs are afraid of so many things. I must admit thugh, that your Nellie has a rather...unique ...list of fears.
I read once about a dog that was terrified of escalators. HUH???!!! Like, who would even think about taking their dog on an escalator?

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