Ok, so I’m a ‘mom’ to 3 Weimaraners. Every evening, after eating, they take turns in what has become a strange ritual in our house.
It starts with the dogs, one at a time, trotting out from the laundry room where their dishes are, through the kitchen and into the living room. The first one in is usually Jingo. He trots around the small couch, and then “dives” nose first into the carpet. He pushes his face along the carpet, rear end high in the air, and then slowly lowers it, as he slides along the floor. Then, as if it was all one fluid motion, he rolls his head over and then begins to roll around on the floor, wiggling like a snake on his back. As he wiggles, his legs flop from one side to the other, and a seeming smile appears. Then, the next dog, usually Spirit, arrives and the whole process starts again as the first dog just seems to know to give up the space for the incoming. Then, lastly, Patriot arrives to perform his rendition, complete with moaning.
I understand from reading that this is what is known as “the pleasure roll” and it usually follows some sort of pleasurable experience such as eating. In our house, however, this ritual happens often with Jingo BEFORE a pleasurable experience…like when he knows he’s about to go out to play ball. Like..whatver dude! In the wild, this behavior actually serves another purpose. Dogs ‘scent’ themselves this way, bringing back to the pack the scent of other animals while at the same time leaving their scent marking the boundaries of the pack’s territory!
So I was looking out the window, and spotted a mocking bird doing this really weird thing. It would take a few steps and then spread it’s wings showing off the broad white stripes on the wings. This happened every few steps the bird would take. I looked it up on the internet, and apparently this is a bizarre behavior that has not been pinned down yet. It’s not believed to be a mating dance, but there is thought that that it could be related to warding off predators, or defining territory, or stirring up insects while it hunts along the ground. Really strange!!
We have a lot of Killdeer around here as well. These birds nest on the ground. When a predator approaches the nest, the adults will fake injury to a wing by dragging it along the ground to lure the predator away from the nest. When at a safe distance, the adult bird will take off. What’s really weird is that the adult birds will act together, there could be 3 or 4 adults faking injury. One might take off in flight, squawking as it goes to drum up support and reinforcements!
What an awesome God we have, that He would create all these creatures with their own little quirky behaviors that enable them to survive in this world!