She does this when she is scared or depressed or insulted. She is very sensitive - I guess it's the Rhodesian Ridgeback in her - so it's not uncommon to see her there as you walk by, back against the tub with her ears down, curled on top of the brown bath rug, staring out.
Her latest self-imposed sequestration is because we are dog sitting for our friend's King Charles Cavalier, Reggie, and her feelings are hurt. This time around she is not being oversensitive. She is 100% being left out of all the doggy play.
I think Daisy, in part, is the victim of size-ism. She is big and solid and at least a head taller and 40 pounds heavier than either Puppy or Reggie. She just can't help it; she looks intimidating. So even though it was Puppy who immediately gave Reggie an aggressive little snarl and a whole lot of humping to assert his dominance, it's Daisy that Reggie actively avoids.
Daisy tries to get in there, in the middle of the two dogs playing. She stands on the perimeter, giving little "hey, I'm here, too" barks. When that doesn't work, she circles them, carrying her red-white-and-blue Bomb Pop dog toy as an offering, but still she's ignored. Eventually, she gives up and walks away, dropping the Bomb Pop despondently in the process.
To Daisy's credit, she has also tried -- when Puppy is too tired from all the humping and snarling and playing -- to approach Reggie one-on-one. She will get into her "I'm ready to play" crouch stance and very gently nudge Reggie's head. Unfortunately, this move just sends the little guy running to me in fear, which, in turn, very unfortunately sends Daisy running back toward the boys' bathroom.
Because I can't bear to watch Daisy being excluded, I have actively tried to get Reggie and Puppy to notice her. I pet her over-enthusiastically and kiss her face and say things like "who's a good girl, Daisy is the good girl" until the two little dogs approach, curious.
But, alas, it doesn't take long for Reggie and Puppy to move on, leaving me unable to make Daisy, beautiful, gentle Daisy, any less sad or hurt no matter how many times I continue to pet her or how many kisses I give her.
As a parent, I should be used to this.
I had to watch heartbroken, as Camden - who in his Baby-Huey toddlerhood was his own victim of size-ism - played alone on the periphery in play groups and preschool, because he didn't have the words to express himself.
I had to stand back and accept that no matter how I tried I couldn't comfort Jesse, - the baby brother wanting to be just like the bigger boys - as he cried frustrated and sad because he couldn't run as fast or climb as high or do anything as well as Camden and his friends.
Of course, years later, Camden talks plenty and has lots of friends, and Jesse runs fast, really fast, but I know - I very, very profoundly know - that it could have gone the other way. Camden may never have found his words, any words, and Jesse may have never been able to catch up, and as much as that would have twisted me around inside and out, I would have had to accept that I just couldn't fix it.
The good news is that Reggie has only been here for a day. Perhaps he will get used to Daisy's size. Perhaps he will get tired of Puppy and his humping and snarling and playing. Maybe he will notice Daisy when she lets out her little "hey, I'm here" barks and will play tug-of-war when she offers him the rubber Bomb Pop.
Or maybe he won't.