The Advantage of Your Dog Not Barking All the Time: Cookie Saves Horses' Asses

Like with the boy who cried wolf, one problem with having a dog barking all the time is that nobody pays any attention to it any more.

After all the morning excitement we went back to sleep.

Cookie barks very selectively.

Quite often she doesn't even bark, just makes a kind of snort when she smells something of concern.

When she does bark, we know there is something out there.

Most of the time we don't get to see it but we are quite positive she hears or smells something. Sometimes we get to find prints or other evidence after the fact.

Because she doesn't bark without a reason, we believe her there is something going on and we let her know we believe her, often by going to check it out.

Today Cookie woke everybody up barking at around 4:30 in the morning.

A few snorts first, then barking quite seriously. To show her I was taking note of her warning, I went to the window to look out. I didn't expect to actually see anything, just wanted HER to see me checking it out. But once your face is in the window, you do actually look outside.

I figured she might have smelled a fox which had been around, or the bear which we actually saw the other day.

What I saw instead was a small team of horses, galloping down the road.

I did not expect that. It was quite surreal as if a fairy tale jumped out of a story book. They didn't look spooked, more like they just decided to go on a trip or following somebody. But there was nobody there they could have been following.

I turned to hubby, "guess what Cookie was barking at?" And told him what I saw.
"Are you sure it wasn't deer?" he asked.

It wasn't THAT dark and I've seen deer before, and I've seen horses before. I was pretty sure I've seen five to six horses on their way somewhere towards town.

In the direction they came from, there is only one place that has horses.

They must have come from there. It WAS still 4:30 in the morning.
"Should we called them,? hubby asked.
"If it was Cookie, I'd want to know about it," I said.

So we made the call, reporting our sighting.

"Oh, shit," was the response on the other end. We offered to help if needed. A little while later we saw their truck driving slowly down the road. Some time later, there goes the neighbor with the horses on their way back home.

Apparently, they've made a few stops along the way but made it all back safely.

Fortunately, it was early enough in the morning, there was no traffic yet.

A lot of people drive like lunatics around here and weekends, with all the vacationers, are even worse. If the horses got spooked, which they would have, bad things could have happened.

Later in the morning the neighbor called thanking us.

She was very happy everything went so smoothly.

If Cookie hadn't alerted us, they would wake up in the morning, horses gone, nobody would even know which way they went. And the horses already made it pretty far, there is no telling where they'd end up. And with the traffic starting later in the morning ...

So Cookie is the hero of the day.

And all that was possible because she barks only when there is a reason. "Good girl, Cookie."

Related articles:
From The End Of A Lead Line To Casa Jasmine: Meet Cookie, Our New Adoptee
Creative Solutions And An Incidental Product Review
Taming Of The Wild Beast: Cookie's Transition To Civilization  
Staying On Top Of The Ears: Cookie Is Not Impressed  
Who's Training Whom? Stick And Treat 
Observation Skills Of Dogs  
If You Want Your Dog To Do Something, Teach It  
Tricks? It's Not Just About The Tricks 
What Constitutes The Perfect Dog?
Are Dog Training Classes Really For The Dogs?  
Look Where You Want To Go: Finding My Reactive Dog Training Zen Zone? 
Dog Training And Emotions 
Dog Training And Emotions: Postscript
Dogs Love Sentences In Question Form?
Not All Dog Trainers Were Created Equal Either 
A Thought On Separation Anxiety
Happy One-Year Adoptoversary, Cookie!
About Freedom, Trust And Responsibility: A "Pilot Study"
So, We Have A Bear 
About Happiness: What Makes Your Dog Happy? 
Our Example Of The Use Of "Look At That" (LAT) 
Why Do Dogs Dig?
Who Is In The Wrong?
Your Dog Wants To Follow You. You Just Gotta Be Going Some Place
We Still Have Two Dogs: A "Pilot Study" Part Two  
Early Winter Safety: Exploring New Territories
Cookie Is Okay. We ... Might Be, Eventually. (Don't Try This At Home)
One Thing I Love About Winter: I See What They "See" 
Give Your Dog What They Need, Get What You Want
Cookie, The First Of The Great Hunting Rottweilers  
Distance Is a Relative Concept  
Dog Communication: Be Good to Cookie or She'll Tell on You
The Benefit of the Doubt  
Putting The Guilty Dog Look To Rest?
The Stench of Fear: Is There Good and Bad Timing for Vet Visits? 
I am a Helicopter Dog Mom
Routines: Easy Come, Hard to Go
Mosquito Apocalypse 
Things Always Change: Cookie's Hunting Adventures