When Rocky and I go on our long walks in the mornings, we tend to go the same route, but I sometimes vary it, especially if I got us walking late that morning. Not Rocky’s fault, of course, he keeps telling me that we need to get going from about half an hour before we normally get ready to go. Apparently when Jonathan and the kids get ready to go, it somehow means that he needs to go, too. Even though he knows we don’t start getting ready to leave until after the boy goes.
While we were going out before Christmas, there were lots of houses decorated for Christmas. For the most part Rocky ignored the decorations, I don’t think he gave much signs that he even saw them. There were lots of houses that had half-sized Santas, Mrs. Clauses, and elves on the lawn, lots of houses with half-sized Nativity scenes. He didn’t turn an eye on any of them. But shortly before Christmas, we took one of our shorter alternative routes, and passed a house with a live-sized Santa statue standing on the porch. He was wearing red Chiefs sweats rather than the traditional Santa suits, but was instantly recognizable. But not by Rocky, apparently. He took one look at that statue, and started growling and barking at it suspiciously, and kept an eye on it until it was completely out of sight. Since he’s usually friendly with anyone we might meet out on our walks, about all I can figure is that to Rocky, the statue *looked* like a normal human, but didn’t *smell* at all like one. It didn’t look particularly lifelike to me, but from what I can tell, dogs don’t see as well as we do. That’s more than made up for by their sense of smell, of course.
So, as near as I can figure, though the statue was clearly fake to me, for Rocky, it fell smack-dab in the middle of the Uncanny Valley. It was rather funny, seeing him react that way.
In subsequent days, I took him down that street often. Like I figured, the next time we went that way, he kept a suspicious eye on the statue, and on following days didn’t notice it at all.