Our experience with Rufus has been pretty awesome. Outside of his inclination to bring home every tick in Ringwood — Amy thinks it’s because they keep mistaking him for a deer — we don’t really have much to complain about. I’m still afraid to leave him on his own in the house for a day, because I think he’ll get bored and start chewing on furniture, but he doesn’t seem to mind being in his crate while I’m at the office, so that’s alright. He’s been well-behaved on walks, didn’t react when a 1-year-old trundled over and tapped him on the nose this weekend, and has only peed in the house once since his first week with us.
One oddball trait of his, though, is his need to “protect the house.” Sometimes when he’s sleeping or resting in the living room, he’ll react to the sound of car-doors closing, getting up and barking. We think he’s trying to keep us safe, but he may just be jealous of other people getting to ride in cars. Yesterday evening, he did something even stranger.
Rufus was KTFO on his bed while Amy & I were reading. He suddenly got up, sniffed, and began barking to beat the band. This time, he was so agitated that he tried climbing over me onto the loveseat. We don’t let him on the furniture, and he hasn’t tried to get onto any since his first few weeks here. But he pushed and strained to look out the big window in the living room.
He ran down the hall of the house, barking away. Neither of us had heard any noise that would have woken him up, so I decided to take him outside to show him that there was nothing going on. He ran down the stairs and waited at the door, tail wagging.
Outside, he took one sniff and led me around the side of the house. I heard some leaves and branches being stomped, and figured he’d caught wind of a deer. We get ’em all the time out here, so I was surprised that he reacted so strongly. I walked him to the edge of the woods behind our home, listened for the noise and tried to peer through the trees to see his quarry.
And that’s when I saw the bear.
It was gallumphing down the hill, not too rapidly, but he was obviously not happy about hearing Rufus’ barking earlier. For his part, Rufus didn’t make any moves to drag me into the woods, content to stand in the bear-free yard.
“Good dog?” I asked.
Back inside, Amy & I decided that, yes, this constituted “good dog” behavior. Oh, and that we’ll pay very close attention to our boy when we take him out hiking on trails, especially during bear season.