- CRITTER TALK
What are the zoomies you may be asking? The zoomies are when you dog gets a sudden surge of energy that must be expelled and the only way to do so is for your dog to zoom around the perimeter or whatever enclosure it happens to be in.
I’m sure many of you have experienced this phenomenon taking place. It happens to my dog Sam all of the time. Sam is half lab and half greyhound, so boy can he run! If we are outside when the zoomies strike Sam, his display of energy can be rather impressive and hilarious at the same time. Once the zoomies take over, Sam can no longer control his actions and he runs with such athletic speed around the perimeter of whatever area we inhabit. It’s as though he is taken by another life force and abandons whatever activity he is involved in (usually tormenting the squirrels) and has to run around the yard several times in a matter of seconds.
I can explain the running by telling myself that it is normal for greyhounds to want to go as fast as possible but at the same time, the poor dog has no body awareness. I think that the lab in him makes him mature rather slowly (he is only 2 years old) and he is constantly tripping over himself like a young puppy. Add that to the fact that his long tongue is always hanging out and he looks like a brain dead maniac. I am in no way above laughing at my dog’s absurdities so I do so and usually end up with a side ache afterwards.
If we happen to be inside when Sam is overcome by the zoomies it can actually be somewhat terrifying. Not only do I worry about all of my belongings being knocked over but I worry about him knocking me over as well. It’s not as though he’s an extremely large dog or anything but he’s still 60 lbs of legs. The kind of force is nearly impossible to stop! He usually does pretty well and steers clear of all objects but there have been a couple of occasions where I ended up on the floor tangle up in dog legs.
Even if I could stop it, I don’t know if I would. The zoomies seem like a pretty fun way to expel some pent up energy. It seems as though no matter how long we play fetch for, Sam always has some energy left over. If I could run (yeah right) I would probably do the same thing to get rid of some extra energy (like I’ve ever had that). As long as Sam refrains from becoming a little OCD about the zoomies, I think it’s fine if he comes down with them every once in a while. Besides, I’m sure he thinks some of my behaviors are just as odd.
What makes the zoomies even more intriguing is that when they strike Sam, I feel a sudden need to expel some of my own energy and play. One time I tried to chase him as he flew around the house because it looked like such fun! I admit that I did have fun for a moment until I decided to go up the stairs like a bat out of hell and pulled a muscle. I have since abandoned chasing Sam when the zoomies strike and instead get down on the floor and wrestle a bit with him. It’s perfect because the pull of the zoomies is usually so strong that Sam will only wrestle for a couple of moments before doing another lap.
What do you do when the zoomies strike?
Ron Rutherford is a writer with a passion for nature and a soft spot for Thai food. He currently freelances for Havahart Wireless, which specializes in progressive and humane wireless dog fences.