Tuesday, July 30, 2013

cheesy jolt mitigates anxiety

A woman who routinely walks her two small dogs by my house stopped in the street outside the porch this morning. She bent down, aerosol can in hand, and squirted a bit of something into each canine mouth.

"Good dog!" she crooned after each application.

What the hell was she doing? I thought perhaps it was some sort of upscale breath freshener, the kind of thing I could imagine being applied in the terribly-caring community where I live.

But no, it was more benevolent than cosmetic. What the can contained, the woman said, was Cheese Whiz, a cheese-like product favored by young children and, apparently, dogs. And what the woman was doing was reassuring her animals. They had recently been traumatized by the dog across the street from me -- a dog that came rushing out one morning and scared the woman's leashed pets half to death. The Cheese Whiz seemed to reassure the little dogs that their mistress would not let any harm befall them. Apparently, the anti-anxiety effects from the aerosol is not unusual since I found the picture above on the Internet.

"Hopefully," the woman concluded her explanation, "they'll be dead before the bad effects kick in."


  1. As a semi-Behaviourist I have ma doots Adam.
    I suspect that the wee pooches have got their owner ( and themselves ) on a schedule of Intermittent Reinforcement...clever them..:)

  2. I'm with you, Peter. But the woman did seem to be reassured.

  3. Those dogs are clearly good owners Adam...:)

  4. A dog will feel more secure when the alpha shared food. Hunger means the world is unsafe, food means all is well. It will rapidly become expected, but the initial play would appear effective.