Jacques does many strange things. We’ve established this. I know, I know… dogs, cats, people – we all do weird things. It just seems like most everything he does is strange, but that could be a whole other post (and probably will be). In this particular case, there was a pattern emerging in some of his strange behaviors…
During the winter months, I noticed Jacques spending a lot of time near the fireplace. And when I say “near” I don’t mean close by or on the hearth. I mean on the hearth, backed up next to the chainmail screen thingy we have – like if he got any closer he’d be IN the fire. He would just sit there and look content. If I sat on the hearth to warm myself up, he’d come snuggle up next to me while making sure that some part of his body was almost in the fire. (Before anyone gets too alarmed, we have a gas fireplace with gas logs, so there’s no danger of embers catching him or anything else on fire.) I thought the whole thing was amusingly odd and just laughed it off as one of his quirks.
During springtime, I’d catch him “sunning” himself outside in one of our patio chairs or next to a brick wall in direct sunlight. There were times when he would bark like crazy and run frantically through the house – usually an indicator that he REALLY needs to relieve himself – and when I’d let him outside, he’d run to the middle of the yard, stop, literally fall over where he stood, and lay there to sun himself. He did this A LOT. I thought he was doing a Wall-E impression… using the sun to recharge his batteries. Actually, I had no clue what he was doing. I just figured my dog was strange.
My husband and Rocky like the house cool (and by “cool” I mean “sub-arctic”) so year round I have a space heater that I use (well, try to use) in my office or when we’re watching movies in the media room. I don’t get much benefit from it anymore because Jacques now places himself directly in front of it. I’ve looked down and seen his head touching the font of the heater (I shrieked and moved him)… I’ve even see him licking the heater! Yes, licking the heater. If I turn the heater on and don’t stay in the room to claim my spot in front of it, I get what little warm air gets past Jacques. “Just move him” you might think. Yeah, well, he might be small, but when he goes completely limp and becomes nothing but dead weight… he’s not that easy to move. Besides, as my husband would say, I’m a sucker.
One day – after a particularly amusing bought of Jacques’ frantic barking and clawing at the back door that was followed by him running full speed outside, slamming on the brakes, and falling over into the grass to sun himself – a vague distant bell sounded in my head. I sort of remembered reading something on the internet about finding Westies curled up in the warmest part of the house or sunning themselves. I had initially dismissed those statements because everything else the internet told me about Westies was a BIG. FAT. LIE. Apparently there was one sliver of truth amidst all the lies.
They didn’t really say why this was “typical” Westie behavior. I still think it’s some sort of Wall-E type thing where they need the sun and heat to fuel their insanity, er, playfulness. Hmm… Maybe if I kept Jacques from doing these things he would be a little saner. But what fun would that be??! I’ve already made peace with the fact that I have a certifiably insane dog. I might as well get to laugh at him, er, laugh about it, right??