|MadSci Network: Zoology|
Hi Sherri: I had to discuss this with my cat, and this is what he said: 'There may be no connection between the different stimuli/agitants. But if there is, it's probably that annoying high pitch sound.' The thunderstorms have loud noise combined with bright flashes of light, and vibration that can be felt through the ground. As you said, that fear is pretty common, not just in dogs, but across all kinds of species. The air conditioning may be emitting some high frequency sound components that the dog can detect. Those high frequency sounds may be coming from a motor, or simply the air blowing against an orifice or opening, similar to us blowing across the top of a glass soda bottle. If you really want to get to the bottom of this part, you can hook up a microphone to your PC, and down load sound characterizing software from the following two sources: http://www.monumental.com/ rshorne/gram.html? http:// cslu.cse.ogi.edu/toolkit/ If you have the patience to set up the above, you will have HOURS of fun characterizing all kinds of sounds around the house. Maybe you'll even remember to check for high pitch sounds that may be bugging the dog. Air conditioning dampers sometimes make a rattling sound that is curious to animals. I saw that in my cat also. To them, it sounds like a little critter is scratching inside the vents. The radio and the gentleman with cancer really baffle me. On the radio, try switching to a different station and watch the dog's response. I would bet that if you find a strong station that comes in very clear, that the dog would no longer act up. If, however, the dial is not tuned in properly, there may be some of that old high pitch sound coming out of the radio as well. The microphone should be able to determine that for you. As far as the gentleman, my guess would be, simply, the interaction between the gentleman and the dog. There may be very subtle behavior changes that we may not notice, that cue the dog to behave funny. I am sorry to hear about the cancer diagnosis. It is not an easy thing to go through. Let me know if I can be of further help. And do try those sites, they are a lot of fun. Any microphone that plugs into your sound card will do. Abtin Spantman SPANTMAN@EXECPC.COM
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