Tuesday, November 07, 2006

Alex and the Terrible, Horrible, No Good, Very Scary Kitchen

"Did you drop something in the kitchen while Alex was standing near you?"

M looked up, surprised. "No, not that I can remember. Why?"

"He's afraid to come into the kitchen."


"Seriously, look. He won't come in here, even for a treat."

M came to watch as I held out one of Alex's favorite treats. Alex crept forward, craning his neck, nostrils working madly to catch a whiff of bacon-scented goodness. Then he remembered that he was two steps away from the Room o' Death and Destruction and scrambled backwards.

Alex startles easily. When he was newly-adopted he got his collar tags stuck in a floor vent, and the resulting clatter scared him so badly that he endured a self-imposed banishment from that side of the room for two months.

Once he was afraid of some avocados that were enjoying an afternoon of ripening on the windowsill, simply because he had never seen them there before. What the hell, avocados? Why you got to be scarin' dogs and shit?

When I told my mom about the new kitchen phobia, she ventured an explanation. "Maybe he jumped up to sniff at the fridge while you guys were gone and the water dispenser shot him in the face?"

"Huh." I looked over at the fridge. "No, I don't think he's tall enough to reach the water button. And the fridge is directly across from the dishwasher, so the dishwasher could just as easily be the culprit."


So we never did figure it out.

The next day I tempted Alex with his favorite thing: a small, cardboard box with treats inside. He loves to rip up cardboard boxes, an activity that is made even more pleasureable when there are treats at the end.

He still couldn't make himself enter the kitchen. That's when you know it's serious.

Oh, box!
So close, yet so far away.

Don't you want to come out here,
where it's safe?

Right, my phobia will magically disappear
because your hand is on the box.
Let's put 'Dog Whisperer' on your business card!

Might as well get comfortable.
At a
safe distance, of course.




Blogger Bearette24 said...

poor alex! i'm really curious as to what turned him off.

btw, i saw a mini-alex at a pet store the other day. SO CUTE. she was 2 months old.

9:54 AM  
Blogger Heather B. said...

Your blog is the second blog that has shown off Amy's Kitchen Frozen Indian food meals. My other favorite thing about the blogosphere (besides pet photos) is that we all enjoy organic ethnic food and wine. Which is a beautiful thing.

10:16 AM  
Blogger Liz said...

Ding ding ding! Heather wins a prize for correctly identifying the Amy's box!

I don't give Alex empty wine bottles to chew on unless we're out of dog chow.

10:30 AM  
Blogger His suzy said...

One time several years ago - when I was in high school, I think - we came home to find my cat big-eyed and crouching low wherever he walked. Come to realize later that men had been in our backyard that day to cut tree limbs away from the power lines and it had freaked him out! So it really could be anything. I'm curious as to what it is, though!

11:56 AM  
Blogger Roxanne said...

Maybe he saw a mouse run out from under the fridge and across the floor? That would scare me.

12:00 PM  
Blogger Rude Cactus said...

Mmmm, Amy's stuff is good. I'm hungry now.

12:38 PM  
Blogger Liz said...

oh god, Roxanne. I hope not. We've had ants and spiders, but no mice.

I suspect that it's the dishwasher. When I undid the latch on it this morning, he jumped a mile. Maybe a dish shifted in there and made a loud noise?

1:16 PM  
Blogger Roxanne said...

Dishwashers can be quite scary sometimes. The whining and churning and banging noises that come out of them often sound alien-like. I hope it's not a mouse either, just wanted to stir up the pot a bit. ;)

1:57 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

So, did you give him the box?

3:26 PM  
Blogger Stacy said...

Dontcha know... there's a ghost in your kitchen. Alex aint no dummy!

4:00 PM  
Blogger Liz said...

anon- yes, I eventually gave it to him. He was very relieved. :)

Stacy- the thought did cross my mind!

4:49 PM  
Blogger Lisa said...

Poor Alex! But I'm glad I'm not the only one with a nutty dog. Rowen has taken to looking at her food balefully and crying. She'll eventually eat it, but not without much drama.

6:29 PM  
Blogger kj said...

liz, hahahaha. you write a quite a story, girl..

ps we did a telephone consult with a "dog communicator" (translation: psychic) for stella and learned an earful. i have her name and # if you're interested in a $ 58 talk with alex...


8:21 PM  
Blogger Carolyn said...

I couldn't see the pics. :(

The pics of Alex are the best part.

I'm just seeing empty boxes with red exes in them.


9:36 PM  
Blogger BabelBabe said...

oh man, the internet is being VERY funny today - first Blackbird and now you. I don't dare try to post.

8:22 AM  
Blogger Carolyn said...

Hooray I can see them now.

Oh, wook at his sad widdle face in the last one.

9:36 AM  
Blogger Frema said...

From what I can make of it in this picture, I love your kitchen. Nothing better than sparkly white tile. :)

12:29 PM  
Blogger Zen Master said...

Awww, poor Alex.

4:54 PM  
Blogger Suse said...

Um, don't you use your dishwasher very often?

Or is it that it just made NEW scary noises?

You realise you can never ever move house, don't you. Because the pet therapy bills will be higher than the new mortgage payments.

7:57 PM  
Blogger New Mezger said...

Do you have an automatic ice machine? Even though Walter is used to the sound, sometimes when it's really quiet, ice will fall in the tray and shift around and make a lot of noise and scare him.
Sometimes, a lone ice cube will escape and fly out of the door!

4:03 PM  
Blogger Brie said...

awww...poor puppy

10:30 PM  
Blogger Liz said...

Suse- ha! We use the dishwasher every week, but yes, it might have made a new scary noise. ;)

NM- yes, we have an automatic ice machine. Maybe a cube popped him on the head! I'll remember to look for tell-tale puddles on the floor next time...

Brie- apparently his first owner used to keep him in a crate all the time and bang on it when he cried, and then she dumped him at a shelter. We keep in mind that he had a rather traumatic time as a pup, but we also try not to reinforce his fearful behaviors...

9:18 AM  

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