It took my dogs, Oakley and Thor, about a week before they discovered lizards, and they haven’t been the same since. It all began one afternoon when a very brave and clever lizard came up to our screen door and instigated a staring match with both dogs. Oakley and Thor, not having any awareness of lizards up to that point, were in awe of this creature. They both stared right back at it (see attached video). And so it went for quite some time, until I ignorantly provoked some action by enthusiastically encouraging Oakley by saying ‘You get that lizard. Get Em!’. If I could turn back time and take this back I would, because my encouragement sparked the beginning of endless battles between the lizards and my dogs.
Oakley immediately responded to my cheering him on like any good dog would, he started barking at the lizard and did not stop barking. Curiously, the threat of a barking dog didn’t bother this particular lizard, as it continued to look back at Oakley, and Thor at this point, without any movement whatsoever. Somehow this little guy knew that the screen door was protecting him from the dogs, so his course of action didn’t change at all – he proceeded to stare back at the dogs. Meanwhile the dogs became more and more on edge and entered into a fit of excessive barking. Since I was reaching my breaking point with all the noise, I decided to see what would happen if I let the dogs loose on this cocky lizard. I sneakily opened another screen door that lets out onto the deck, and the dogs busted through with conviction. This time the lizard quickly ran away, and it seemed that the problem was solved. We all came back inside and things settled down. That is…until the same arrogant lizard came right back to reenter another staring contest. Clearly, this lizard was taunting my dogs, and it was working splendidly. Again, the dogs began barking and the whole charade continued over and over.
So, the weeks went on and there were several similar encounters. Oakley is already an intense dog, so this only made life worse for him. One minute he’d be quietly sleeping on the floor, the next minute he would be jumping up, yelping and lunging at what may or may not have been a lizard on the porch. There were several times when I’d look up to see both dogs sprinting down the porch with the hopes of chasing down one of these guys. Thor has been so eager to catch a lizard that there were a few times when we thought he may take a dive off our very elevated porch with the hopes of hunting down his prey. Even at night both dogs would be tantalized by what they were convinced was the sound of a lizard out on the porch. However, none of their eager efforts resulted with any success.
Finally, one afternoon when I was out on the deck, quietly reading and relaxing, the dogs once again disrupted the peace by running down a lizard from one side of the deck to the other. And, I’m proud to report that at last they had cornered one of these creepy crawlers. However, as the lizard went into his standard frozen mode, Thor did nothing but stare closely at it for some time, apparently thinking that he was dead. Oakley also simply stared at him, allowing Thor to take the lead (see attached video). This was not at all how I had imagined the catching of one of these lizards would go. After weeks of disruptive encounters, I wanted to see some blood. However, similar to the dogs, I had no idea what to do in this situation, either. I stared at the lizard for some time, too. Finally, I got bored with this and scared the lizard into moving along down the porch. Oakley, unwilling to let this opportunity pass him by, scooped up the lizard into his mouth. Of course, I ended this whole adventure quite quickly after that. In a rage of panic, I shouted at Oakley to ‘DROP IT!’ He immediately dropped the little fellow, at which point the lizard scurried away to safety.
I’m not really sure how this war will end, but I will say that I have seen less and less lizards whizzing around our deck, so I’m hopeful that the dogs have taken control of the situation and will continue to guard our deck with honor.