The Secret Lives of Pets: What Has Surprised You?

sylviatexas1January 19, 2010

Another thread about the way pets act when their owners aren't aroaund reminded me of this story:

I once listed a house where the sellers had a house dog, a beautiful Boxer named Brownie.

Sellers & I all made a special project of demonstrating to Brownie that I could go to all parts of the house.

& Brownie wagged his little stubby tail & looked happy.

The first time I tried to show the house when the sellers were at work, I rang the bell as I always do, just in case someone was in the shower when I called for the appointment, & Brownie came to the door & wagged his tail.

but when I stuck the key in the door, the whole story changed.

He stood on his hind legs & slammed the door!

"Brownie, it's me!"

pushed the door, no dice, he did shut me out again.

The third time I tried to open that door, he growled & raised his hackles, & the buyers & I traipsed off to look at something else.

When I told the sellers, they were shocked & surprised but they seemed gratified & flattered as well;

Brownie, their goofy house dog, was protecting their castle.

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Our cat is not allowed on the furniture. She has a basket, her footstool, and well, she is allowed on our bed. We brag to friends about how good she is; the vet holds her up as an example of a well-behaved cat; we were thinking of putting out a book--Feliz the Perfect.
We came home a little late one night last week, and there was the cat, in the middle of the couch, sound asleep! When we woke her she looked at us as if to say, "Well, WHAT!" She hasn't done this before or we would have noticed the cat hair on the sofa. I wonder what other little secrets she has . . . .

    Bookmark   January 19, 2010 at 3:03PM
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Bumblebeez SC Zone 7

Last week while outside gardening, I saw my beagle over by our woods holding in his mouth what looked like a shingle. He ran of when he saw me and I realized he had a beaver tail.
This past week week he has spent a lot of time digging in the deep leaves in our woods.
Last night, early evening he was outside running around and I went to the garage to call him in. He has a garage bed blanket he makes into a nest...and in the middle of the nest was the beaver tail. I could hear him out somewhere happily barking. I went to tell dh about the beaver tail (so he could remove it) and then I went back to look at it again...and it was gone!
So he is protecting it somewhere.

    Bookmark   January 19, 2010 at 5:56PM
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murraysmom Zone 6 OH

One time while I was at work, my dog got a bowl full of walnuts (in the shell) off the dining room table and spilled them all over. For weeks I found them all over the house. They were stuffed down in the sofa cushions and the weirdest place I found some was between the mattress and the box springs!! He was saving them for later, I guess. :)

    Bookmark   January 19, 2010 at 7:43PM
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Many years back my Mom was dog sitting our Australian Terrier and forgot to move a bowl of Hershey chocolate kisses from an end table. She went out for a bit and when she got back she found all of the silver wrappers, squished, wet and empty in the bowl. Scruffy had obviously squashed the candies to get the chocolate out and knew enough not to eat the paper. It didn't hurt her; she lived for another 11 years.

    Bookmark   January 19, 2010 at 8:04PM
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These are entertaining. I love that story about the walnuts :)

Marlingardener reminded me about our lab. She was not allowed on the furniture, but thought she was pretty slick about sleeping on the sofa when no one was home. She'd always hear the car pull up, or keys in the lock, so she didn't get caught on the sofa. Somehow the sofa always had suspicious warm spot on it when we'd get home (and a lot of hair seemed to accumulate up there). I guess the funny part is that we never tried to stop the behavior, just let her have her little "secret."

Even when she went completely deaf in the last 2 years of her life, she was rarely caught on the couch, only when she was very sound asleep. She must have used her sense of smell to tell her when we were home most of the time.

    Bookmark   January 20, 2010 at 9:03AM
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My Jack Russells used to hide treats way down in the toes of my shoes - I'd find them when I'd put the shoes on.

One of them would also booby-trap doorways by carefully placing a bone or treat on the sill, then hide off to the side and lunge out when the other dog wandered by and though she had gotten lucky :o)


    Bookmark   January 20, 2010 at 6:44PM
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I love these stories.

Daisy our kitty is not allowed on the kitchen counters or in the greenhouse window over the sink. But I know she sits in the greenhouse window at night because I find little things knocked down into the sink. We're letting her have her secret too.

    Bookmark   January 20, 2010 at 9:30PM
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My little iggy Tubby gets up on the tile kitchen island when we are not in the house, and explores. His problem is he forgets to put things back. We found our kitchen sink strainer on the living room rug in his pile of toys. He has excellent hearing and usually scrams when he detects us coming, but gets caught often enough that his hasty exits are sometimes observed.

One day I baked a three layer chocolate cake. Somebody came to the back door, and I had to step outside, so duh.........I covered the pans with the cake in it with a linen cloth. I guess I forgot a dog's sense of smell is something like 250 times greater than a human's.

I was only gone a minute and so relieved when I came back in to find the linen cloth still over the cakes. I peels it back and had one of those surreal moments. There were two layers and the pan containing the third layer was empty. Completely. I wondered if I'd had a senior moment and just made two layers, until I saw a black ring around the third pan and five or six tiny crumbs on the counter. He had somehow eaten A WHOLE LAYER of cake in less than a minute, and the cloth was still over the pan! It was chocolate. So, I call the vet to ask if I need to get him in to have his stomach emptied. I reminded the tech he only weighed fourteen pounds.

She came back on laughing and said the vet assured us he would be fine, but keep a mop bucket handy as he'd likely get the trots. Nope, he was constipated for two days. LOL.

    Bookmark   January 21, 2010 at 1:04AM
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Bumblebeez SC Zone 7

These are really great stories.
I feel relived that my dogs will not touch anything in the house unless it is on the floor. I can fill the plastic under cabinet garbage can - which sits out in the kitchen often- with steak bones and bacon grease and while they might sniff it, they would never push it over, which they could easily do.
Something tasty on the edge of the coffee table, they could reach? Won't touch it.

However, we have a fairly steady stream of small animals, rabbits, and squirrels mostly, that are brought back to the house that I dispose of regularly.
One of the dogs has caught several moles in my flower beds, so that's a plus...although I always feel sad!

    Bookmark   January 21, 2010 at 8:53AM
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My two female bassets trick each other.One likes to play with toys and one doesn't care about them at all.Lucy the one that doesn't care about them will go get some out and throw them in the air and make a show about having fun,barking,ect,all this is get Sally to get up from the loveseat so she can have it.As soon as Sally which loves to play goes to investigate Lucy will run get her spot on the loveseat.Also at other times Lucy which moves in slow motion most times starts towards the loveseat Sally will fly around her and get in it first.
Also Lucy is known for making me think she is very ill(I've come to think with her there is alot of drama)I'm almost embarassed to go back to the vets office.The last episode she could not hardly walk,staggering,shaking,etc.I took her in and they kept her overnight(previously she was diagnosed with spine calcification)I get her there and she walks in like there is nothing wrong with her.They call the next day and says she fine,no staggering,swaying,shaking,etc.She comes home like she feels great.Thats how she tricks me I guess..

    Bookmark   January 21, 2010 at 11:10AM
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rhizo_1 (North AL) zone 7

These stories are so funny. I've got two to add to the list!

My (now deceased) Schnitzerdoodle (schnauzer/doxie/poodle/cocker) seemed to do very well by herself during the day while I was gone. She and her pet cockatiel amused each other.

One day, upon returning home, I found most of a 5 pound bag of potatoes in the seat of the chair next to Homer's (bird) cage. Minus the mesh bag, which was still in the storage bin in the kitchen. Not one of the potatoes had a single tooth mark in them...not ONE! Georgia (dog) had obviously 'fetched' the potatoes, one by one, and delivered them to the chair.

Truthfully, I think Homer told her to do it. That bird was always getting Georgia into trouble.

Speaking of Homer. Every evening, I would take her out of the cage for some 'quality time'. She preened my eyebrows and even my eyelashes ever so gently. On this particular occasion, she gingerly plucked my contact lens right out of my eye, placed it down on my hand (where she was perched) and continued with her preening. Good grief, I didn't even feel a thing; the lens was not harmed.

Every single day after that, she would inspect my eyeballs carefully to see if she need to perform another 'procedure' on me. I had to keep my eyes closed or take my contacts out.

    Bookmark   January 21, 2010 at 11:38AM
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Great stories ... but OMG rhizo, your contact! WOW!

Another garden window story ... the cats are not allowed on the counters or the kitchen table. But I knew someone was getting up on the counter and into the garden window ... I just didn't know who.

Tuesday morning, I go downstairs and start turning on the kitchen lights at 5:15 am to get the dogs out, and as I turn the light on over the sink ... I pause because my brain can't understand what I am looking at (you know, that fuzzy early morning feeling).

There at the end of the garden window, hanging out over the deck, curled around the orchid is my male cat Figaro ... glaring at me! Like, how dare I turn the lights on and disturb his morning. I grabbed the orchid, because I knew he would knock it over in his haste to depart ... and zoom, away he went. He knows better, he just got caught!

Amazing that he never knocks anything over other times ...


    Bookmark   January 21, 2010 at 12:13PM
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I had a boxer who used to answer the phone. Came home from work one evening and the phone was of the hook and pulled down the hall to my room. I was expecting a call and when I didn't get it I phoned and they said yes they had phoned but they thought a dog answered. At first they thought it was just a heavy breather but then several people listened and decided yes it was a dog. Another time on evening shift I phoned home to see if there was any messages when all I got was a busy signal all nite. ( I live alone ). When I finally got home Cricket met me at the door with the receiver in her mouth quite frazzled and looked at me " like where have you been?". After that I turned off the ringer.

    Bookmark   January 21, 2010 at 1:27PM
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My Momma Dora is pretty insistent about getting her dry kibble for snacking. As she is heavier than is healthy for her, I have cut down on the amount I free feed.

Well, not to be stopped, Momma and I bet her accomplice Boxer, have learned how to open the utility closet door where I keep the dry food.

I found the door open several times this week, and inside the open bag of kibble was on its side - its contents spilled out. Next to it was a second, unopened bag that had a chew hole in the side.

I guess when a girl wants her snack, a girl wants her snack!


    Bookmark   January 21, 2010 at 2:29PM
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Bess our black lab, now deceased, used to travel on the back seat of our Explorer. It was her seat and hers alone. My young son used to put his back pack on the floor between the back seat and my seat. Occasionally he used to leave the remains of his brown bag lunch in his backpack....... One day they had a surprise pizza party at school. His lunch, chicken sandwiches in a plastic baggie remained in his back pack. Not only did Bess find the sandwiches, she ate the plastic sack too. The vet could not control his laughing. Bess ended up having her stomach pumped 'just in case'. She was fine for many years after that incident!

    Bookmark   January 21, 2010 at 5:53PM
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murraysmom Zone 6 OH

These stories have me laughing right out loud!!! They are so funny. It's like reading Reader's Digest or something like that! They would make a good book. Nothing like living with animals to keep you entertained!!!

    Bookmark   January 21, 2010 at 6:42PM
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When I was a teen, my aunt gave me a couple of her prized African violets.

I put them on the table in front of my window where my beloved cat Heather (what can I say, I was young, & this was so long ago that nobody was named Heather yet) liked to bask in the sun.

One day I realized the violets looked a little dull.

Oh, no, Aunt Lillie will be so upset if I've killed her African violets;
she'll never trust me again!


it was gray cat fur, matted on the fuzzy leaves.

    Bookmark   January 22, 2010 at 3:46PM
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My Casey is known for waiting until I get up and leave a room, hoping that I forget and leave some food,dirty dishes, or drink behind. Since it was the holiday season and I had time off work, I bought a bottle of Carolan's Irish Cream Liquor to enjoy in the evenings. One night as I left the powder room, I saw Casey standing in my chair. He took the neck of the bottle of Carolan's in his teeth, jumped to the floor, and set it (upright) next to the glass I had been drinking from, which was licked clean and also sitting upright on the floor. I don't know if he was planning to try to gnaw off the cap, or break off the bottleneck, but he sure looked like he was starting a party!

Last night, I had another drink of it, and Casey almost clawed my hand, trying to pull it down to his level! He was frantic to get my drink.

    Bookmark   January 24, 2010 at 8:26PM
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I have 2 Bichons and the one is impossible. She loves Kleenex tissues and toilet tissue. If I sort clothes for washing and leave the trousers on the floor she will go through every pocket to see if I had gotten all the tissues out of there. If I hadn't yet gotten them all, she will have them. I cannot put toilet tissue on the roller because she will unroll it and pull it way out into the hallway. One day, and don't ask me how she managed this, but she got ahold of the end of the toilet tissue, pulled it out in the hall, went all the way down the hall, 24 feet, turned into the bedroom, jumped on the bed and it never tore off of the roll!! I couldn't train her to do that. LOL

    Bookmark   February 2, 2010 at 3:01PM
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I gave my cat Annabelle a fish oil capsule *one time* when I was taking mine;

now she knows which drawer they're in, & every time I open it, she streaks up onto the counter & reaches for the bottle!

    Bookmark   February 2, 2010 at 3:45PM
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What great stories. I have two to share. Both star our Lasa mix, Magic, that we lost at 16 years old 4 years ago. She was our spoiled rotten baby.

When we had her spayed, I paid extra for the anesthetic that wears off quickly so I could bring her home. When I picked her up, they brought her out on the leash and she was walking and acting fine. As soon as she saw me, she slowed down to an almost crawl and hung her head and tail. I took her home and put her on the sofa. All weekend, she mostly stayed there as I hand fed her and brought her water to her. She was so pitiful. On Monday I went back to work. DH was on vacation and stayed home with her. After I was home from work for a while, DH started laughing like crazy. Magic was back on the sofa, not able to do anything and whining and looking at me so sadly each time I tried to leave her. I asked DH what was so funny and he said "Boy does she know how to play you! She has been running up and down the stairs all day, playing with her toys, eating normally, barking and jumping around. As soon as your car pulled in, she jumped up on the sofa to be babied!" What a little stinker she was!!

Next when we were in an apartment waiting for the new house to be finished we told the managers that if the maintenance man needed in the apartment to let us know. Magic was not very friendly to anyone that tried to come into our home unless we said it was ok. Then they had to pet her or she would bug them to death. Anyway, one day when I was walking her the maintenance man came up and started talking to her. He said she was such a sweetheart, that every time he had to enter the apartment she followed him around and watched everything he did. Said she never made a sound, would just wag her tail and wait to be loved. What a great watch dog we THOUGHT we had!!

    Bookmark   February 2, 2010 at 4:27PM
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one thing I forgot to mention about the Bichon, took me a while to figure it out but when they let me know they wanted to go outside to do their duty I always gave them a treat when they came in. They were having to go out sooo often. Then I watched when they were outside and they did nothing. Finally dawned on me that they were wanting to go outside only so they could come in and have a treat!!! There are other things but I'm not goint to hog this space. too many other interesting things from everyone else.

    Bookmark   February 2, 2010 at 6:37PM
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Another one of my Boxers did really not get along with any of my other Boxers too well. My friends Boxer had died so I told her she could take Jazper to help her get over it ( he never did come home) as she had had only that one dog. The next day she said Jazper won't eat so I asked her what kind of dish she used. She said plastic. So I told her to put a metal dish in the middle of the room with his food and say" Jazper eat" From that time on no more problems. He was a quirky dog in many ways. Sort of OCD.

    Bookmark   February 2, 2010 at 7:16PM
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My laid-back grey tabby cat, Lindsey was on the front porch, just chilling while I was out on the driveway talking to my neighbor who had her two boxers on leash. My daughter came up and started playing with one of the boxers and a basketball - the fun and rowdy kind of play with lots of barking, etc. The next thing we knew, Lindsey came flying off the porch and attacked the 75lb big boxer - twice! Poor Kody didn't know what happened - he thought all cats were his friends! The only thing we can figure is that she thought my daughter was in danger when Kody started playing so rough! Lindsey never did anything like that before or since.

This is the same cat who delivered one of our escaped hamsters (unharmed!) to my husband in the middle of the night - she deposited it on his chest and he woke out of a sound sleep to find the hamster looking at him from a few inches away! He was so startled that he flung the hamster off without realizing what it was. Luckily little Brownie was unharmed after flying several feet through the air! I was always amazed that she apparently could tell the difference between our pet hamster and the occasional field mouse (she was a good mouser who's loud purring will be much missed - she passed over the rainbow bridge at age 18 in Nov. 2009)


    Bookmark   February 3, 2010 at 4:18AM
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Ah, BetthLu, we're lucky if we get to share our lives with a personality like Lindsey.

Brownthumbia, maybe those dogs were training you to let them out!

Several years ago, I had to wait for my friend Kat to get dressed so we could go somewhere, & she directed me to a lawn chair in her backyard, where she'd left her Cocker Spaniel Smedley to play until it was time for us to leave.

Smedley seemed absolutely delighted to see me!

He picked up his ball & brought it to me & put it at my feet, wagging his whole body & smiling all over his face.

I threw the ball & he brought it back & dropped it at my feet, wagging & smiling.

threw it.

Smedley brought it & wagged & smiled.

This went on long enough for me to realize that that dog was *training* me:

Every time I did what he wanted, he, in his doggy way, said "Gooood Girrrl!"

    Bookmark   February 3, 2010 at 9:58AM
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Sylviatexas, thanks for the kind words about Lindsey, she was one of a kind!

I know just what you mean by the dog training YOU! At the office where I work, the boss brings his two labs to work every day and Daisy, the yellow lab has trained us all to give her belly rubs.... she rolls over on her back and "smiles" at you from upside down and cranes her neck to watch you move around the office until you stop what you are doing and rub her belly! How can a person resist those brown eyes and wagging, upside down body???

BettyLu :-)

    Bookmark   February 3, 2010 at 11:21AM
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How fun this is. Yeah, if you have pets, the stories are endless. I'll share a couple potbelly pig stories. Pigs are very smart animals, which can be good and can be bad. A long time ago, when I first got Rudy, I think I was trying to train him to "make a puddle" in a certain part of the yard. Let me tell ya, these PBPs can hold a lot! Sometimes, they'll be makin a puddle for a very loooong time. Well, Rudy was only going a tiny bit at a time, and I became concerned, thinking he had blockage or crystals or some terrible thing, and I started calling PBP experts to help me figure it out. Turned out he didn't have any other symptoms, so we were all stumped -- until I figured out that he was carefully dispensing in smaller amounts in order to get more treats!!
And then there was my dearly departed Harleybabe. I had to take her to the vet, and built a ramp that I could place off the back of the SUV so she could climb up and get in. PBPs cannot be forced to go anywhere or do anything unless you have a crowd of strong people to maneuver them. So, since Harleybabe loved marshmallows, I set up a trail of marshmallows on the ramp. She walked over to the bottom of the ramp, surveyed things, then promptly went around to the side of the ramp and tipped it a bit so that all the marshmallows fell off, and then walked around to the other side and had a nice little marshmallow feast.

    Bookmark   February 5, 2010 at 12:29PM
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Bump! More fun stories please.

    Bookmark   February 19, 2010 at 8:37PM
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We have always had German Shepherds along with Min-Pins & other breeds. "Anika" was one of the smartest of all our Shepherds though. She would lift the latch on gates to garden areas to open them. We raised the lock up high but she reached up on her hind legs & was able to open it again! So we put a padlock in the gate latch but left it in the open position. She then figuered out how to manuever the padlock so she could nose it out of the gate, then lift up the latch & open the gate. Finally, had to actually lock the padlock in the gate & then had to use our key each time we wanted to open it. I have videos of her climbing an 8 ft. chain link fence to go over to where she saw me. Another time she got out of the yard as I opened the main yard gate & got away. Posted pic of her all over the neighborhood to no avail! One day a week later I couldn't believe my eyes: there she was in our back yard! She had decided she didn't like the outside world & came home & climbed back in the 8 ft. chain link fence!! Of all the Shepherds we have had she was by far the smartest.

    Bookmark   February 27, 2010 at 1:53PM
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This is a perfect example of why I will never have a Border Collie or a German Shepherd:

it would run me *nuts* to have a dog smarter than I am!

    Bookmark   February 27, 2010 at 4:36PM
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