A question for the dog-owning subset of the hive mind:
On a typical evening here, the husband and I eat dinner while watching TV.1 When we're done, Sheba joins us on the couch, and generally falls asleep. At the end of an hour of TV-watching, the husband gets up to get something for dessert, and Sheba wakes up. Then he returns, and Sheba goes back to sleep for another 20 minutes to two hours, depending on how much TV we end up watching.
Lately, during the dessert intermission, Sheba has a few times tried to snap at me when I reached out to pet her. This is something she hadn't done before the last couple months. She also only does it with me, not with the husband, and only during the dessert intermission, not at other times of the day. I'm uncertain how serious about it she is -- she has made tooth-to-hand contact before, but generally doesn't, and I sort of have the impression that the one time she did, doing so was not her actual objective, 'cause she's not closing her mouth on my hand.
So far, we've been dealing with this by making her get off the couch when it happens and not letting her re-join us until some substantial period of time has passed (like 15-20 minutes?).
I looked on-line for something about this, and found a number of places saying, basically, not to get in a dog's face after it's been asleep 'cause they wake up cranky as much as people do, which works as far as suggesting what not to do in the future, but doesn't explain why she started doing this in the first place. The only thing I've noticed is that it seems to happen more on nights when we've given her bread.2 Which, I mean, she can't be thinking I'm going to take the bread from her, since she's already eaten it, but that's sort of what she's acting like.
So my questions are basically:
What's going on with her?
What should we be doing about it?
Is it possible that it's related to the bread, as it seems to be? How? If so, should we stop giving her bread, or is there another way to deal with it?
1 Recently we've been watching Friday Night Lights.
I am unable to come up with a less-interesting sounding premise (football coach in a small Texas town leads his team to the state championship, drama ensues), but I'm pretty certain it's #2 on my Most Beloved Shows of All-Time list,a largely because the relationship between Eric and Tami Taylor is the most realistic portrayal of a good marriage I've ever seen on television. Most shows would try to split them up, for the sake of creating drama, but FNL doesn't. I can't get enough of them. I could seriously watch hours of the Taylors doing their taxes or going grocery-shopping or whatever. This is totally not the point of the post, but I love, love, love the show and have been waiting for a moment to shoehorn a plug for it into the blog somewhere, so now I've done that and can finally relax.
a The top ten is something like:
1. The Wire
2. Friday Night Lights
3. Angel / Buffy the Vampire Slayer (but only if I disregard the last two seasons of Buffy) (tie)
5. Breaking Bad (have only seen the first three seasons)
8. Dead Like Me
10. My So-Called Life (though it is critical to skip the Christmas episode)
2 Sheba looooooves bread, and is terrible about begging for it while we eat. She also doesn't like to eat it near us -- if we give in and give her a piece, she won't just flop down and eat it where she is: she'll pick it up and search for a place where she can't see us, and then she'll eat it there. She does this a little bit with other foods, but it's very pointed with the bread.
I can't be sure that she's only snapping at me on bread days; it didn't occur to me to make a connection until the last time or two, but since I came up with the theory, I can say for certain that she hasn't done it on days when she didn't get bread.