Wednesday, 15 July 2009

Penny's sense of smell and the petrol leak

Reading Noah's post from a while ago about the day his car burst into flames - thank God no-one was hurt - I thought I might mention again the Great Petrol Leak saga that played out with Penny and me as main characters, over about five months.

Penny just wouldn't get into the car. I posted about it after I found what the problem was. At the time I consulted all sorts of people more experienced with dogs than I am, in order to solve the mystery. I came up with two conclusions: either she hated the 'ping' of the overhead monitors on the Tollway, or she was unhappy with the long trips we were taking regularly to K9 Kompany and Melbourne Canine Freestyle.

So, I tried: calmly putting her in the car, on lead; handing over treats every time the electronic 'ping' sounded; giving her an enormous biscuit when she was in the car; praising her for calm behaviour in the car.

And the eventual solution to the mystery, as I said in that post, was that the car had a petrol leak. I have to mention that I did take the car a couple of times to the mechanic because of the petrol smell, but he couldn't find the problem - until the day the leak became so massive that the RACV guy wanted to call the Fire Brigade to siphon out all the petrol and hose the area down!

Penny gets into the car happily now.

And it's a win-win for her, because she still gets the enormous biscuit each time we go on a long trip. I don't have the strength to resist the big puppy-eyed begging look.


Johann The Dog said...

Us dogs are so smart!!! Penny saved your life, maybe :) That is so cool!

I remember one time that JoJo didn't want to get in the car to go to an agility trial a few hours away. I had to pick him up to get in.

Turned out that was the day we had the big car accident. I always wondered if he sensed danger, now I always try to listen to him in a different way.

Leslie and Johann

parlance said...

Leslie, there's a place where I sometimes walk with Penny, high on a hillside, a beautiful walk, but Penny is never happy. I always wonder if it is a 'landslip' area and whether Penny feels some instability in the soil that I'm not aware of. (There are landslip areas nearby but this area is not supposed to be one of them.)