Oldest Kid and I were trying to watch Star Trek: DS9 last night. When we watch DVDs, we run them through the stereo system, and Hero sometimes takes exception to the low noises booming out of the subwoofer. Last night he wouldn't stop barking at the noises, no matter how much I told him to be quiet. At last, exasperated, I confined him upstairs. I was mad, and showed it in my posture, and I used the words "bad dog," too.
When I came back to get him forty-five minutes later, he came slowly to greet me, as if he were coming to his own execution. His eyes were filled with sorrow, and he had adopted his most submissive, cringing attitude, and was clearly saying, I know, I know... I'm a bad, bad dog, and you hate me now. I sat down on the floor and put my arms around his neck, and he immediately transformed into puppy mode, collapsing into my lap in a happy heap, rolling over, and waving his paws in the air, wiggling wildly all the while. You love me again! Yay!!!!!
Dogs are funny creatures. They are entirely dense about a lot of things, but they can be just as sensitive as humans to anger directed at them. Hero is far from Mr. Sensitive most of the time, but he knows when Mommy is mad, and he's just as eager as a human to make amends. He spent the rest of the night assuring me how much he loved me, and I made sure I gave him extra pats, too. There is nothing in this world more tragic than a sad-eyed dog!