I'm weak. I'll admit it. About a week before I unexpectedly returned Blue, I was feeling tired, stressed and all around worn-out. I had just finished a load of laundry and didn't feel like folding one more article of clothing. It was a Sunday night so the boy had headed off to his house - it was just me the dogs and Laney. I was done cleaning the house, so I decided that all other responsibilities could wait until the upcoming week. I put the laundry basket with unfolded clothes in my hallway where I would trip on it the next day (and thus remind myself that clothes needed folding) and decided spur-of-the-moment to let the dogs sleep with me.
What happened next was interesting.
Instead of taking the dogs to their crates where they normally sleep, I turned off all the lights and headed into the bedroom. This is usually a trigger for joyous running and a simultaneous flying leap onto my bed by two dogs. Sleeping with me is uncommon when there are two of them (they absolutely hog the bed) so they're exceptionally happy when it happens.
When I got to my bedroom after the nighttime bathroom routine, there was only one dog waiting for me. Casey. Hmmm. Where's Blue?
Blue was skulking in the living room - head down and looking for all the world like he was going to get into trouble. My first thought was, "Oh crap. What did you chew?" (Last time I saw that look, he had my digital camera in his mouth. THAT was a good day.) A brief survey of the living room showed everything remained untouched. Confused, I encouraged, "Come on Blue," and headed back to the bedroom.
A few seconds later and again only Casey and I were in the bedroom. I went back to Blue who had the same hangdog look on his face. "Come on Buddy!" No tail wags, and seeming to fear a punishment that wasn't coming, Blue eventually skittered into my bedroom. I have no other way to describe what happened. He skittered. Tail tucked. Like I was forcing him. Like sleeping in the bedroom was punishment. Interesting.
Once in the bedroom, he perked up into the normal happy Blue and the night passed uneventfully. I put the entire incident out of my mind.
The next morning, I went to let the dogs out, and again, only Casey answered my call. This time, Blue was skulking in my bedroom door with the same hangdog look. Again, nothing was chewed. Again, it took quite a bit of persuasion until Blue skittered through the hallway to get outside. Only this time, I realized what was scaring him.
Um, Blue was afraid of the laundry basket sitting in my hallway.
THESE are the big scary pit bulls that everyone is afraid of?
So I did a little experiment. (Excuse the poor video quality.)
I was obviously on one end of the hallway and Blue was on the other with the laundry basket (filled with scary unfolded clothes!!!) between us. You can see Blue's tail wagging furiously as I call him. And you can almost see the indecision on his face as he paces on the other side of the big scary basket.* "Hmmm...I WANT to come to mom....but I might get EATEN! By the BIG SCARY BASKET!! What do I DO?!" (You'll have to excuse the baby talk in the video. That's not what I normally sound like. (I don't think?) But with Blue, you use baby talk. That's all there is to it. If you want to speak like a grown up, you can talk to Casey.)
When I told the boy, he summed it up perfectly. "Awww! Blue is such a pretty, dumb dog." Yes, that he is. He's pretty, and he's dumb. I then proceeded to remove the scary basket, called Blue again, and gave him a big hug when he came right to me.
So there's your highly scientific experiment for the day. Laundry baskets are obviously scarier than pit bulls. Make sure to spread the word.
*You also get the unintentional hilarity of Casey ignoring me completely. Like, "What? She's not calling me. Blue is so dumb."