Thursday, January 01, 2009

New Dogs and Old Tricks

We have had Bermondsey for about three and a half years now, and he continues to be a Very Good Dog. But he has one behavior we are at a loss to understand.

When we first got him, he had been a stray for at least 3 weeks, and was only about 8 months old. Wherever he had been before he was found in somebody's garage, he hadn't been there very long, but he had apparently had a good start on some training there. We also think that there had been a doorbell there.

That probably sounds obvious, because doesn't everybody have a doorbell? Well, no--we don't. We have a reproduction brass bell that is operated by turning a key in the center of the bell, and it sounds a lot like a bicycle bell. We have had this bell for many years now, longer than we have had Bermondsey.

Surprisingly, there are a lot of doorbell rings in the old Monty Python Flying Circus shows--which we are watching most nights this week as a Family Activity. And each time a doorbell rings, Bermondsey runs out of the room to the front door, barking.

He hasn't heard a real life doorbell for the vast majority of his life--but he apparently remembers. It must be that fierce territorial instinct that has lead him to recognize the threatening sound of the UPS truck door opening. Gotta keep that pack safe from the dangers of delivery to the door!

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