Friday, December 16, 2022

Insight: The nosiest dog in the world

By Ed Pierce
Managing Editor

I’m not exactly sure how it happened, but somehow my wife Nancy and I have become the owners of the nosiest dog in the world and it’s not because she has a large schnoz either.

We acquired this inquisitive creature six years ago in September from a rescue agency that brought dogs from the southeastern U.S. to New England and despite months of training and attendance at doggy obedience school, Fancy continues to demonstrate an insatiable curiosity for anyone who nears our residence.

Her owners have nicknamed Fancy as the
'nosiest dog in the world' because of her
altering them to anyone nearing, entering or
driving by their home.
It can be something as simple as a heating oil truck driving down our street, or a FedEx or UPS driver stopping to deliver a package to a neighbor, but once she hears them, Fancy springs to attention to let everyone know she’s aware of their presence nearby.

She can be sound asleep and curled up on the sofa when the tiny sound of our mailbox lid being lifted by our mailman puts her on high alert and at the front window barking and letting the world know she’s keenly aware of this temporary intrusion into her domain.

When students arrive for weekly tutoring sessions with my wife, Fancy’s penchant to alert us to their vehicle pulling up in front of our home is on full display. She whines loudly and proceeds to dash from the front window to one in the dining room as she keeps a close eye on the students as they make their way up our driveway to the back door for entry.

Once inside, this 40-pound sentry gives the students the once-over to make sure they are friendly and have good intent.

Fancy takes her guard dog duty seriously. Part-lab and part-unknown, her hearing is first-rate. She is aware of car doors slamming three houses away, people talking while walking up the sidewalk, and in high-protection mode when she spots a neighbor walking a dog and passing by our house.

Her senses also know when I am home from just the sound of my car door closing and door lock activation from my remote device in the driveway.

As I approach the back door, I can see her leaping to look out the window on the door. Once she confirms that it’s me, she goes bonkers wanting to let me know that she’s overjoyed that I have returned home. Fancy hops and bounces as I step through the door and wants to lick me incessantly. Sometimes she brings me a rubber bone she’s been chewing.

This dog is also aware of the sound made by the sliding door of a van carrying grandchildren from Connecticut to visit us. They only visit several times a year, but inevitably she knows that particular sound of the sliding door and runs to the front window to confirm it’s them. Once she realizes she’s correct, she becomes frantic to alert us to our visitors’ arrival and to greet them as they enter the house.

It's a much different greeting than the one received by the guy pumping heating oil at the receptacle by the dining room window. That one is much more inquisitive and more defensive, with more pawing at the window and some associated growling.

Same thing for the trash collectors. She feels compelled to keep a close eye on that once a week from the front window and make sure the trash truck moves on to the next house on our street.

We have pity for the unsuspecting door to door salesmen or signature collectors for petitions. They have no idea when they ring the doorbell that a pint-sized ferocious guard dog is eying them keenly when the front door is opened to find out what they want. But they do hear the loud barking before the door is opened.

Friends and family are aware of Fancy’s tendency to guard and protect and usually go out of their way to say hello, calm her down and allay her fears. One neighbor and friend from across the road gives her a big hug and speaks to her in a baby voice to make her feel more at ease when she visits.

And Nancy told me that when she went across the road to visit that same neighbor last week, they both could see Fancy in the front window watching and waiting for Nancy to come back home.

The sensitivity to doorbells is not limited to the one for our front and back doors. It also applies to any doorbells she may hear coming from television programs. Once she hears a sound like that, she’ll leap into action and run around in circles to try to discern where that sound came from.

Being nosy is a trait that Fancy applies not only to guarding our home but also to finding lost objects that have fallen under the refrigerator or the stove. Her sense of smell can detect a rubber ball that has disappeared under the living room couch, or a dropped dog treat in an unlikely place.

Having the nosiest dog in the world can be a curse and a blessing. But it’s amazing how much love and laughter they bring into our lives. <

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