Within the first days of Lilly coming to stay with us, we discovered that she was an excellent watch-dog.
If someone rang the doorbell or knocked on the door, she was up and barking, sometimes before she was even awake.
One memorable UPS delivery ended up with Lilly somehow summersaulting off the couch and landing upside-down between the side-table and the couch-leg, stuck like an angry capsized turtle. She remained there, wriggling and barking wildly, until I un-wedged the table. By the time I got to the door, the UPS guy was in full retreat, swinging himself back into the truck, probably having visions of three or four huge mutts tearing up the furniture in their eagerness to get to him.
Naturally, I wanted to turn Lilly's useful canine instinct into a party-trick.
One evening, playing with the small dog, I gave the wooden floor a few experimental knocks and called out "Helloooo?"
Lilly was off like a stick of dynamite.
A few minutes later, I did it again and got the same rewarding noisy reaction. She was ready to tear someone UP.
This went on for a while.
By the, let's say the sixth time, she barked less explosively. As she raced to the door, she kept glancing back to keep an eye on me.
Seventh time, she barked, and stayed nearby. She studied me as I stifled my hilarity to call out "Hellooo? Who's there?" By the set of her ears and by the wary, suspicious look in her eye, it seemed as though she might be catching wind of the game.
Eighth time, she bounced up, barked once, and then came over and gave my knocking hand a decided nip. The message being emphatic: Do. Not. Freakin. Mess. With. Me.
Of course, I continue to mess with her.
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