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January 8, 2015

The Girl who Cried Wolf

Around these parts we have ourselves a troublemaker who goes by the name Penny.  On a whim, Penny likes to bother Eko Eko will often ignore Penny and find a new spot to crash. Penny inevitably follows to goad Eko into wrestling Eko gives
Around these parts we have ourselves a troublemaker who goes by the name Penny. 8.1

On a whim, Penny likes to bother Eko


Eko will often ignore Penny and find a new spot to crash. Penny inevitably follows to goad Eko into wrestling


Eko gives me the, “Are you seeing this?” look as Penny pounces on him

By now I’m used to this routine and generally disregard the litany of thumping, jumping and bumping sounds that come from the living room when the pups wrestle. But every so often I hear a blood curdling scream from Penny which could raise the dead.

At first this howl had me ready to transport Penny to an emergency clinic. But your intrepid reporter did some undercover work and quickly discovered an interesting fact about Penny’s banshee yelp. She does it when she is completely fine.

The first time Penny howled I came running to save and console her.  My positive reinforcement encouraged the behavior, even for completely benign situations. When I stopped showing up at the howl, Penny brought the howl to me as a way to tattle on Eko.


Penny: And then he bit me like this and I was so scared…

Eko: I did no such thing!


“You believe me, don’t ya, Will?”

The jig is up for my little actress so now she gets no positive reinforcement for her performances. It’s also helped that Penny’s learned she isn’t the only one to know the old cry-wolf trick. Recently a few other pups have pulled it on Penny, much to her shock.


“Whoa, don’t fake yelp, that’s my move!”


Penny was shocked this little dude at the beach screeched when she hadn’t even touched him. Nothing like a taste of your own medicine

Occasionally Penny still gives a massive yep of unwarranted proportions, but I think she’s realized her acting career is coming to a close. I hope she’ll return to her true calling: dentistry.


“I see you’ve been flossing”

Anyone else have a pet with a penchant for the dramatic arts?

Comments for The Girl who Cried Wolf

  1. Carol says:

    A whole houseful!

  2. meANXIETYme says:

    Our Le Moo–who is roughly 20lbs larger than Butthead, is prone to FLOPPING. She’ll throw herself to the ground like someone has knocked her down, and she’ll lie there looking near-death. No movement, not an eye or ear flutter….until Butthead bites her neck or leg or face, and the play starts all over again.
    Initially, I ran over to make sure Le Moo was okay (it’s a mighty thump at 95lbs), but now we know it’s just her way of playing. She does not prefer the “chase” but rather the close-up boxing or ground-rolling frolicking, so the flop is how she lures Butthead up close (Butthead prefers being chased).

  3. Victoria says:

    i love the “you believe me don’t you Will look” -thats priceless and we see that here when there is a sock w/new holes or someone has my slipper in their mouth – we don’t have a lot of fake yelps – Rigby is 80 lbs and Muff is 130 lbs so when they play and Muff gets too rough the only yelping is when Muff is telling Rigs she doesn’t want to play anymore and nipping him a little too hard and he is trying to get away from her (most of the time) at that point – and we break it up.

  4. fredrieka says:

    I sometimes yelp when I play, because I bit my own tongue

  5. cafall says:

    Haha – yes! Our Harlow is a drama queen. I just had to carry her in the house because a sticker was in her fuzz – not in her, mind you, just stuck in her fuzz and it was immobilizing her. I think they need to start a club, or a self help group.

    Monty and Harlow

  6. T&S says:

    Penny has such big teeth or is it just the photo?

    If we had only our male RR we wouldnt know that we have a dog 🙂 Our female is the motion element in our house, always ready for play 🙂

    and yeah our female is also a little actress, she yelps every time when our male accepts her play and starts to run after her (he doesnt even touch her, its enough that he only comes very close to her) 🙂

  7. Emmadog says:

    I learned at a young age if I squeaked or yelped, my big sis Katie would come to my rescue. At first Mom thought it was cute, but that was a mistake as Katie is a guard dog who WILL protect her flock, even in her senior years. Mom has to be very careful because if I squeal for help, Katie will go after the other dog to kill, at least Mom says it appears that way. I think it is just a younger sibling thing to do, but watch out if she starts to do it in public and asks for Eko to step in.

  8. Ogee says:

    Drama…every morning…every night. But for some reason, the dog walker (who takes no guff!) thinks they are perfect angels. 🙂

  9. KarenS says:

    Bruno is all drama. The whining sound he emits is priceless. You should see him while crated. The bedding is all bunch up under him. He’s screaming. Now. He’s never been crated as punishment, just during the puppy stage & at dog events. He has water. He has shade or other protection from the elements. His brother lays there calmly looking in utter fascination at his antics in his crate.

    They are all such clowns and they never cease to amaze me with the actions.

    Btw. Tell Penny we love her “mean teeth”. 🙂

  10. Nicole ferguson says:

    My ridgeback doesn’t understand growling. She growls at us when we aren’t giving her enough love and affection! At first we were so startled at her just openly growling at us, we tried to shower her with love and we tried to make sure she was okay, but now it’s an old trick! “Rrrrrrrrrrrr!!!”

  11. derrycats says:

    Years ago I had a cat who would pick one annoying activity (like trying to dig a plug out of an outlet, eat a particular plant, etc.) and pursue that for a full 24 hours. Lock him in a room for 2 hours as a time out and he would still come out and pick up where he left off. The guy used to go to my desk daily, turn on the printer, jam the paper, and dump everything off the desk. Which had me running each time, until I finally realized I was reinforcing him. He was so disappointed when I stopped coming to the show.

  12. Nikitaland says:

    OMG, the looks of Penny and Eko are priceless! I could not have put any other better words coming out of their mouths than you just did. I really love all of their facial expressions and it always keeps me yearning for your next blog post! Have you ever made a .gif and run their pics together? You should make one!

  13. raisingdaisy says:

    HAHAHAHA Oh Will, your captions coupled with those photos have me hysterical over here!!!!! 😀 Daisy is a drama queen too – she tried to get me to stop clipping her nails by shriek-yelping to make me think I was hurting her. Problem is, she started shrieking BEFORE I ever touched her paw!! So yes, I’m very familiar with the tactic. 😀

  14. the photos with your play-by-play is priceless! And the Academy Award goes to………… PENNY!!

  15. Titan to this day will fake a broken leg! It started when he was a puppy trying to jump through the doggy door and just smashed full force into the door I called for hubby to rush him to the vet but Matt charging to the rescue got Titan’s attention and he trotted up to him fine as can be. It happens less often now but if Titan runs full force into railings, walls, doors, etc. he wails loud enough to wake the dead and favors a front leg even if he only hit his head.

  16. Marcela says:

    Lol. Penny is so cute and so naughty. Poor Eko. It is fun and interesting to live with 2 dogs. You never know what you are going to be able to capture with your camera.

  17. Donna says:

    I love your blog! In fact, this is the first time ever that I have signed up to a blog. I have a 10 month old Lab/Hound mix…..so I so relate to your stories! Ha! I had a black lab for 13 years before he passed last May. I went and adopted my terror/tazmanian devil from the Wake County SPCA one week later. He has the exact opposite personality and characteristics from my other labs. Andy was gentle, submissive, and the quietest dog ever. Axel is hyper, dramatic, vocal over everything, and dominant. But if someone were to offer me a million dollars that have to kill me before they could take him. Looking forward to reading more and sharing our stories.

  18. Hee, hee–what a good read! My female OES used to terrorize the male OES but she never was a yelper (probably because she routinely kicked Eliot’s behind 99% of the time-that girl was one tuff bruiser!

  19. Elyse says:

    Love this.

    I used to pull this trick myself when I was little (I am youngest of five). Whenever I thought someone was about to smack me, I’d start crying. My brother or sister got in trouble and I didn’t get hit. (I was brilliant from the beginning.)

    But I’m glad that Penny is a demon sometimes. Duncan is more often than not! He has taken to misbehaving — taking things he’s not supposed to touch, looking up at us, and putting himself into jail in his crate. If he would only not take the chair cushion …

  20. Ellen Quilty says:

    She so bad!

  21. After living three years as an only dog, Neeka has been struggling to retain her “personal space” when it comes to Khoi. He came from a litter with ten others and puppy piles were the norm. Unlike your patient Eko, Neeka gets bent out of shape when Khoi curls up within a foot of her sleep spot. However, if she initiates the contact and flops on Khoi, all is well. But if he moves, she’s all up in arms. You can almost see him roll his eyes with a “whatever.” He’ll lie down and let her move. He has it figured out. I’m still waiting for the Eko/Penny pile moment.

  22. houndstooth4 says:

    Ha ha ha ha ha! I am laughing SO hard because we do, indeed, have an actress at our house! I love how they’re always shocked when the tables are turned.

  23. Oh I think I am thanking my lucky stars on this one. There is minimal drama here unless Ralphie is totally fed up with Marty chasing him and gives a good growl and a hiss. Then I just raise my voice and tell Marty it’s time to stop and he usually does. I KNOW how lucky I am at this point. Not holding my breath though, just feeling lucky for now!

  24. Too funny!

    My dog rubs his ears and face with his paws when we say no to what he wants and when we reprimand him for doing something wrong.

    Trying to be cute to get out of trouble. Silly dog.

  25. She could probably make more doggie dollars in Hollywood.

  26. fozziemum says:

    Hahaah yep like my human kids I always know the one yelling the most started it..every time..and usually as fake as a cheap moustache 😉 hugs Fozziemum

  27. ha! Girls! they can be sneaky :o)

  28. Oh I think Penny is “paws down” the winner of the Ekoscar (your equivalent of an Oscar) for BEST ACTRESS. Cute!


  29. After Norman bite Gamblers head off and crushed his skull he would let out a scream when any other dog came near him. They didn’t even touch him but he screamed. Poor bubba. Penny is funny, at least she never got hurt, she just knows how to play the card! Love the teeth shot!!

  30. OMG! The tattle-taling picture! It’s too much! I am so quiet, Mom could forget I’m even there, except that I follow her around like a ghost-shadow.

    Love and licks,

  31. pawedblog says:

    Haha!! Yes!! 3 over here… Oh penny you are funny! That pic of her with the teeth is still killing me!
    Hugs, Carrie & Pups x

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