Friday, August 25, 2006

Canis Non Gratus

My dog is an Australian yellow Lab, almost eleven years old. He is a happy, easy-going character (pretty much the only one in our house!). He is happy to adjust to differing schedules, doesn't mind changing his meal times, walks himself when we are very busy and doesn't demand much. Even people who don't like dogs generally come to get along with him.

Unfortunately, he has been exhibiting a strange new behavior in the last three weeks. Every morning at around 5:30 AM, he puts his paws on my side of the bed and pants loudly. Even after I make him get down, he stares at me and pants heavily. He doesn't want to go outside, doesn't want a pet, doesn't want water, doesn't want to play. He is just suddenly quite uncomfortable. Unable to figure this out, we have taken to making him leave the room so we can sleep.

I took him to our local veterinarian. No problems. Healthy as a, err, larger quadruped.

After a couple of days, it occurred to me that he might be hearing an ultrasonic sound from our lawn's sprinkler system. It starts at about that time. So I did the obvious thing: I changed the time that the sprinkler started. No luck. At 5:30 AM I had paws on my arm and doggie breath in my ear. We were at a loss. How could my old friend suddenly become canis non gratus?

Separately, we began to suspect that the sprinkler was going off twice. The manual was unclear regarding the operation of a three-positin slider switch. Was the switch to select which of three programs would run? Or to select which of three programs you could adjust with the other controls? I had presumed the first. It was the second. Creating another program simply ran both. The sprinkler was still starting at 5:30 AM. I cleared the first program.

We waited with bated breath the next night. Would we sleep through or be jarred into full activity by our canine interlocutor? It worked. When we awoke, our dog was still sleeping peacefully. We had found the problem.

Now, what do we do with a sprinkler system buried in our yard at great expense which distresses our dog?

1 comment:

  1. Great story. Now this is your chance to design an ultrasonic noise cancellation system in your spare time. Or you could simply get B an iPod. ;-)