Full Moon and Dogs’ Behavior

Izzy’s been particularly frisky and misbehaving lately (see my post about eating my shoes!).  Last night, I took him for a walk and when we got back into the house, he brought me every ball he owns.  Demanded I play with him and if one got stuck under the couch, he did the puppy-bow-bark until I got it out.  When he was a puppy, his balls lasted an average of twenty minutes.  Now that he’s a little older, he seems to “treasure” them more.  He has one “ball” (and I use that term loosely because it really doesn’t roll anymore) that’s red and blue striped and a plastic shell.  He’s played with it so much that it’s got a hole in the side and usually flops on the floor rather than rolling, but Izzy loves it because he can grab onto it and throw it in the air, essentially playing fetch with himself when I’m not around.

After about an hour of fetch, I wanted to get some work done, so I sat down with my laptop on the couch.  He promptly came over and sat beside me, pawing at my hand or at the keyboard to get my attention.  Nothing would satisfy him unless I gave him a belly rub.  Sometimes you just have to give in when dogs demand that you give them some love.

While we were sitting there, my doorbell rang.  My next door neighbor wanted to borrow some Ibuprofen, so I made up a little bottle for her and brought it to the door.  Izzy loves Deb and went directly to her.  She bent down to give him a pat, and out the door he shot — right past her and into the yard.

He’s a little guy and tends to dash without looking (even though he knows “wait” when we’re crossing the street).  My heart pumped when he headed for the street, but then he turned around and tore back through the yard, nose to the ground.  I’m sure he smelled the groundhog/raccoon/possum/skunk (we have all of the above), but the way he was running in circles like a crazy man made me wonder if there was something else going on.  Finally, we got him corralled (he will not ‘come’ — no matter what), and I got him in the house.

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That night when we went for a walk, he was still acting a little crazy, and when I looked at the sky with the gorgeous full moon and brilliant stars, I wondered for the thousandth time in my life whether the moon affects us as much as the old stories make us believe.  So, I did a little research.  Here’s some interesting facts:

  • There’s a 23% increase for cats and a 28% increase for dogs in visits to the vet’s office or an animal hospital during a full moon because they’re “acting out” more.  There’s a higher rate of seizures and traumas.
  • Doodlebugs dig larger holes during a full moon.
  • Instead of taking advantage of the better light during a full moon, lions kill during the daytime hours.
  • The word “lunatic” came from “lunar” because people noticed the change in both people and animals during a full moon.
  • Dogs might bark at a full moon because it’s brighter outside — and they are “marking” their territory.
  • Owl monkeys in Argentina are more active during a full moon.
  • And coral species mate a LOT more actively during a full moon . . . a true sexual phenomenon.

So, I guess Izzy’s behavior last night wasn’t as weird as I thought!

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