I Heart Indies

Saturday, September 1, 2012

Hark, Hark, the Dogs do Bark!

Our dog Zoe is a wonderful dog in many respects.  She is also a barker, and lately even more so.  Perhaps this is because she gets so much practice at it.  But she only barks when there's an urgent reason such as:
Someone is in the yard
Someone is walking on the street
Someone is at the door
Someone rings the doorbell on TV
It's been a while since anybody let out a good bark
She regularly is transmitting this vital information to us in the clearest and most repetitive way imaginable, and our attempts to shush her avail not.  Even after we succeed in silencing her, more or less, she gets in one last muted woof, a sort of "I-told-you-so" woof, a woof of put-upon patience with her owners, a woof that says, "Neither of you are willing to do the barking around here, and barking won't do itself."
Nothing rouses you out of a nice nap on the sofa
like an unexpected explosion of barking.
She sounds pretty fierce, I'll admit, and nothing rouses you out of a nap on the sofa like a nice unexpected explosion of barking.  I'm sure the mailman, water meter man, and passing pedestrians will think twice before  messing with our house.  And as far as those doorbell-ringing actors on TV, forget about it!  They'll stay right in that little box where they belong and behave themselves.
The only catch is, as soon as someone crosses the threshold, the tough act ends, and Zoe goes from barking to tail-wagging.  Zoe's all like, "My goodness was there someone barking?  How rude!  Welcome, welcome!  Make yourself at home!  Here, let me sit on your foot."
Sitting on someone's foot is Zoe's trick for getting attention.  She's very nonchalant about it - the uninitiated might think she just chose a spot to sit at random, and that their foot just happened to occupy it.  But she's not fooling us.  Zoe's kind of a slut when it comes to getting petted.  You hear about how wonderful dogs are with their unconditional love and all, but actually it's not as great as you might think.  When it comes to love, you want it to be at least a little bit conditional.  Loving on family members and even invited guests is one thing, but you don't want your dog sucking up to home-invading miscreants and cat burglars.  (Even if cat burglars were actually cats, which few of them really are, Zoe would not take action.  When it comes to the civil rights of the feline persuasion, Zoe is respectful to a point that borders on rank cowardice.)
With luck, if we ever suffer a burglary, the culprit, having been first stunned by vociferous barking, will not foresee the sitting-on-the-foot maneuver, and caught off-guard, will trip, and falling prone to the floor, will be licked in the face until he turns tail from disgust and humiliation.  
Not likely, I know, but we cling to what straws we can.

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