Dog communication and the importance of watching

Always, always watching. 

From across the yard I looked over at Elsa sitting on our double lounge.  She looked intent, like she was watching something crawling on the ground in front of her.  I watched and searched the ground, but could not see anything.  I put down the hose and head to the patio area where Elsa was still staring.  With her ears at full attention, her gaze frozen; I called out to her "leave it."  I didn't know what "it" was, but I wasn't taking any chances.

As I got closer to her I scanned the ground without result.  Not until I got right to the lounge, did I see it, a BEE.  There was a bee on the lounge, right in front of her.  I shouted out loudly "LEAVE IT," as I panicked and ran to it.  As soon as I was on the bee I praised Elsa like crazy.  She is allergic to bees and if stung, she can have an anaphylaxis response.

She'd left the bee when I told her.  She clearly understands that she is not to touch bees; I have instilled that with a very frantic "leave it," anytime I see her watching them.  She is not like a foolish youngster who goes chasing after bees; she is more about watching the little devils.  I have seen her sniff them on the ground and walk away; which is what I want her to do.  

The bee she'd been watching was right on the lounge in front of her.  It was crawling toward her which of course caused Elsa to sense a threat.  I think if it got too close she would have given it a bite; which may have resulted in a sting.  I would not have know that this was all playing out if I had not looked over to see what she was doing.  Even in the safety of our own yard; I am always watching to see where she is and what she is doing.  

If you don't watch, you will never see.  Dogs are creatures of constant communication.  They communicate with body language so if you are not watching them you will not see what they are saying.  Elsa happens to be a big and loud communicator.  Added to that is my constant vigilance and you have great communication. 

As I took of my gardening shoe to capture the bee and throw it over the fence, Elsa stiffened.  I had to give her a low mmmm, mmmm meaning "no."  She acts like a team player and wants to help rid the beast from our yard.  But I let her know that I'll deal with it and she relaxes.  

She is always telling me something.  This girl has a lot to say so I am always listening.