Fears We Don’t Understand

Yesterday evening Isaac and I were sitting in the living room, he was doing homework and I was watching a movie. (The Rise of the Fellowship, actually. Good, geeky movie for those interested!) Suddenly Coal started trembling at the other end of the couch. Though we couldn’t hear it at first, we immediately knew what was scaring him. The smoke detector in the basement was beeping to alert the batteries were low.

For some reason, unknown to us, it terrifies Coal.

Coal came to me as a five month old puppy, he turned 10 years old last August. Nothing I am aware of has occurred to make him petrified of the beeping smoke detector. The microwave beeps, as does the oven, our morning alarms, the car alarm, even our carbon monoxide detectors when the batteries are low. These beeps get no recognition from Coal. We speculate (that’s what us dog owners like to do, you know) it is the pitch of the beep. Though it doesn’t seem to bother the other two dogs whatsoever.

Isaac rushed downstairs to remove the batteries and stop the beeping. I took Coal outside so he could escape the noise. Even outside he was shaking and panting while pacing in the yard. Once he came back inside and no longer heard the beeping he settled down quickly. Poor thing. I am hopeful the smoke detectors never start beeping when we aren’t home – I’m not sure how Coal would cope!

Has anyone else had a similar experience with a noise or object that scares your pet for an unknown (to you) reason?


Coal on a hike up Ptarmigan Trail near Buena Vista, Colorado.


**This is a BLOG HOP! (Unfortunately WordPress doesn’t quite work with them, though. But if I’m missing something, please let me know.) Anyway, the hop will be open for a week. (2/7/2014 11:59 PM North America – Eastern Standard Time) Click around and find new blogs!

From the Blog Hop host: “I want to hear all about the fun things you have done with your pets this month. Have you learned any lessons that will help you in the future? Did your pet surprise you? Add a link with your story to the tool below and brag about all of your hard work. Every entry has a chance to win a $25 donation to your favourite pet charity and a prize pack for you and your dog!”**

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About Miranda

A flailing attempt at keeping it all together while doing All The Things.
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6 Responses to Fears We Don’t Understand

  1. Nicole says:

    My dads hunting dog LOVES hunting and has no fear of the noise from a gun…On the other hand, Thunder or fireworks? She is absolutely terrified! She runs for a hiding space and will continually pace until the noise is done. We’ve also speculated about the pitch possibly being the reason.

    • Miranda says:

      How interesting! Dio is afraid of thunder and fireworks, too. The fireworks I can understand – it’s loud and sudden. I suppose the thunder is as well. We purchased a Thundershirt for Dio and it’s helped leaps and bounds to get him to relax while either are happening.

  2. Poor Coal.

    I think when it comes to fears, dogs are similar to humans. I’m afraid of heights but I don’t know why. My husband gets a little freaky in crashing thunderstorms. Luckily we can use logic to calm our fears. But dogs just have to deal.

    Coal is fortunate to have you and Isaac looking out for him.

    • Miranda says:

      Yes I do think that is the problem. As humans we can usually understand our fears, and at best avoid them altogether. (I will assume you aren’t rock climbing! 🙂 ) Dogs aren’t able to say “I really don’t like Fireworks, and would feel safe if I could hide in the coat closet. Is that okay?”

      Thank you! We do our best to help them however we can.

  3. Jenny says:

    Just a few days ago I was cleaning the house and had opened the doors/windows in true spring-cleaning style. A fly buzzed into the living room and my pooch, Vulpe, suddenly descended into a vortex of TERROR. She got full-on shakes and I had to sit with her for about 15 minutes before she started to calm down. This is the dog who is so reactive to strange men on walks that she barks and lunges at them in a style any wild animal would be jealous of…. Bless their contrary ways!

    • Miranda says:

      Oh, I am jealous of you Jenny! You got to open your doors and windows in winter? 🙂

      I actually know someone who has a dog that is afraid of flies, too!

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