On our morning walk a few days ago (August 2010), Romeo stepped on a branch that was partially buried under some leaves. When he stepped on it, it moved, and he leapt into the air. He was very cautious about moving forward until I reached down and picked up the branch to show him it was nothing to worry about. Once I helped him understand it wasn’t going to attack him, we moved on with no problem.

Was this an irrational fear? After all, who's afraid of stick lying on the ground? Actually, Romeo's fear was very rational. Back in May (2010), he had a close encounter with a bull snake. If you're not familiar with them, they look similar to a rattlesnake and this one was maybe 3 feet long. Since then, Romeo is very cautious about anything that starts moving under foot that could be a snake. I'd say it's a rational and healthy fear to have.