The Other Wrinkle

One other thing came up on our trip that I’m going to have to talk to the behaviorist about.

Silas is terrified of cars. When the behaviorist assessed him, we walked out of her office and down the sidewalk. We didn’t even make it to the next driveway. Silas spent so much of that time flattened to the sidewalk that he almost wore his nails to the quick. I’ve had to leave parks with him because he saw a car through the trees a quarter of a mile away.


He will play in Mom’s yard while somebody drives by.

He will run around a highway rest area. He’s not the happiest dog in the world there, and we definitely take him as far away from the road as we can, but he’s no worse than he is in any semi-new place.

And here’s the real kicker: while we were away my husband borrowed a truck to move some tires. Silas and I were outside when he pulled up and drove right through the yard. It was a strange car, and there was no way he could tell my husband was driving from the angle we were at. He looked at it like, “Huh. That’s weird. Where’s my ball?”

The only thing I can think of is that maybe it’s the sound. The cars Silas is afraid of are all driving on city pavement at speeds of less than 50 mph. The road at Mom’s turns into dirt right at the corner of her yard, so the sound is really different. Cars also sound different at the highway speeds near a rest area. The truck was driving very close, but on grass it was almost silent.

It would fit in a way, too, because Silas is afraid of a lot of “roaring” type noises. He’s afraid of the vacuum, my kitchen exhaust fan, the car air conditioner on high, the blender, the hair dryer, and the leaf blower. Those and similar sounds are almost the only noises that bother him.

Now, a completely unrelated picture of Silas, hanging out in the back of the car with a mountain of new beds. (He’s obsessed with these, and our local store doesn’t carry them. We bought two more while we were away just in case something happens to the first one.)



3 thoughts on “The Other Wrinkle

  1. LOL he looks happy with his beds.

    I recently read a post from We Live In A Flat blog. They live in Singapore and have been doing a lot of work with their dog on sitting calmly when out in public. Because of where they live, there is always hustle and bustle so this is something they need a handle on. Anyway they posted a couple of video techniques for working on this that I thought you might find helpful. I particularly liked the technique Suzanne Clothier used for teaching thresholds.

    Here is the link to their post:


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