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Oh no, Donna growled

The humans met up for BBQ, and the dogs had a chance to mingle in the temporary play area.

The temporary dog playpen

Play pens courtesy of Mango the Sheltie and Lycan and Lexie.


Although after a while, most of them appeared to be more interested in being outside than inside. Haha!

Let us out so we can go to our humans!

Donna wasn’t in there for a few reasons:

  • She would keep badgering them to play with her, even if they don’t want to and keep avoiding her.
  • She doesn’t like to be air lifted by humans, so I wasn’t about to dump her over the play pen.
  • She is wary of the noise by the unfamiliar movable “unstable” playpens, and hence hesitant to approach to walk in there by herself.

So she could only stand outside and look in at them.

Well, technically, I think she was thinking about food in this picture, hence the drool – – 

Yes mostly, she’d rather spend her time productively begging for food anyway.

Ever optimistic that the human race should starve themselves and donate all their food to her.

Donna doesn’t often vocalise

She was her usual quiet self. But she did have fun playing with her Japanese Spitz friend, Kanon, and begging for food in between rounds of playing with him.

The other dogs were not so comfortable with her having only met her perhaps once or twice before.

I could see Kooky Sheltie moving out of her way every time Donna approached.

Lexie the Border Collie was also slightly nervous, but hopefully they will warm up to each other when they had more time to spend together since they are attending the same Basic Obedience Training in October.

Lucky the Yorkie spent his time chilling out on the bench when he needed space or happily scampering after his human when they take time outs away from the party. And Cobie the Pomeranian spent a lot of time being fussed over somebody’s lap, barking when another dog comes near.

But Donna had some fun playing with Kanon and Nugget the Sheltie so I thought it was a fine evening for her. Echo the Sheltie seemed to have a tendency to rush at dogs who are playing and barking at them, which sometimes break up the play. Neither Kanon or Donna reacted to Echo though, which was good.

Maybe because the dogs seemed to get along or just move on when they didn’t click, I allowed myself to get more distracted as the evening wore on.

Perhaps just like humans will get tired and grumpy, dogs could too?

Because suddenly, Donna was growling continuously away from me and I quickly went over to pull her away from the trigger. I wasn’t watching so I had no idea what led up to her growling.

Doesn’t mean I didn’t ask myself the same question, why did Donna want to eat Echo?

Perhaps Donna just got too frustrated with Echo who kept intruding when she wanted to play?

But that is just pointless conjecture which really isn’t constructive at all. I wasn’t there to observe the cues and body language that each dog was sending which ended up in the escalation.

Who knows what really happened?

I guess my key takeaways are,

  • no matter how tired I get, I still need to be watchful and supervise Donna’s interaction with other dogs.
  • And in future, I need to be mindful enough to realise that I am tired and no longer alert or sharp enough to supervise, and that at that point, Donna should be returned on the lead and stay beside me.

Cookie the Japanese Spitz certainly had more self-awareness than either Donna or myself. Towards the end of the evening, he decided he had enough and sat there whining to go home. :)

Good for you, Cookie!

Back home, Donna half-heartedly chased her bone a couple of times before deciding that she was finally tired. THAT is a GOOD doggie day, I agree, Mel.


Related post


Nine close ups of Donna the “Singapore Special” Dog


You disappoint me, human.


  1. Sounds like she was just getting annoyed at something. At least she only growled. True, it is a good idea to try to keep her from getting to that frustrated point but at the same time, growling to express discomfort is not necessarily a bad thing. I wish my Maya would tell my Pierson when he’s playing too rough or being too much of a pest. A small growl is all it would take and he’d leave her alone.

  2. I think she was highly frustrated about the lack of action about her food. I’m always thinking food also.

  3. My sister Katie gets frustrated now that she is older and can’t keep up like she used to. It gets her to growl too.

  4. Sometimes dogs growl to let others know to back off. You just want to watch for escalation from that.

    • She growled continuously even while I was pulling her away.. think I should have waited and watch? My first instinct is to just break it up :p

  5. Sounds like Donna just had enough and I don’t blame her at all. I am glad she wasn’t in the playpen. You’re such a great mom to her Mrs. P. I can see she had a lovely time. Love the photo’s and Donna 2-4.jpg is my most favourite. She is so gorgeous! :D

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