The Dog Who Chases Shadows
So a friend of mine has a dog named Scarlett. She's a Vizsla. Rescued. Scarlett is a friend of Roscoe. They play really well together. Roscoe likes to be chased and harassed. Scarlett chases and harasses. And Scarlett has a sweet side and a huntress side. She has that look on her face that's always like, 'What do you want just name it...'-- but if she sees a squirrel she goes into hyperfocus overdrive. It's almost like all other emotions shut down other than focus on the squirrel.
A couple months back Scarlett was attacked. At a small dog park, two Akitas with an idiot owner went after Scarlett. Vicious. They attacked. Scarlett was bit and terrified. The dogs had to be pulled off of her. There were puncture wounds. Her butt got bit. Stitches and stuff. And apparently there were some after-effects. Scarlett now is dealing with some sort of canine post-traumatic stress disorder. It's strange.
Lately... she chases shadows. Shadows on the ground. Shadows on the wall. Shadows are the enemy or playthings. Something is now alive in the shadow world.
When I first saw Scarlett in her shadow chasing mode I was taken aback. We were at dog park on a sunny day. Dogs were playing. Roscoe was like, 'Hey what's up, Scarlett!? Wanna chase and harass me? Wannawannawanna?!' But Scarlett was busy. Distracted. Attempting to corral the shadows on the ground. Any shadow. If someone walked by and cast a shadow she would slap at it. Bite at it. A tree branch shadow would swing by. She'd go after it. As if it were something. She'd search the ground with the same level of focus as if the shadows were squirrels.
Anyway, the other day I was at dog park and Scarlett was there. And she seemed all better! She chased and harassed Roscoe. She was doing her thing! I was psyched. Phase over. I told my friend that Scarlett seems totally over her shadow stress disorder-- she seemed all back to normal. She said, 'It's cloudy. It's cloudy out...' There were no shadows on the ground. Soon the clouds cleared up and the sun started shining. The shadows came out of the shadows. And Scarlett stopped her regular dog game and went back to controlling the shadows on the ground.
The good news is I noticed that the intensity had definitely eased up. The shadows didn't seem so much a threat-- more like a nuisance that demands attention. Like blowing newspaper or something. So I think she's getting better--which is coolio... but it really is a kind of a (troubling but) fascinating side effect.
PS. Ay! Asshole akita owner... Don't have your dogs off leash if they're biters! That goes for all you bitey dogs out there!----------------------------------------------