Back in the day, I had a wonderful dog, a Shih Tzu named Boopers. I loved her to pieces. Among her many attributes (not least of which, was just being a smart, loyal, loving companion), she was a great watch dog. She might not have physically been able to do anything about a person breaking in, like attack anything except his ankles and maybe his calves, but she was phenomenal about alerting us to possible Ninja intruders. Which, when you think about it, was really her job…the job of any small dog, actually. They’re the alarm system and either the larger dog, or you, as the human of the house, are supposed to do the rest.
Boopers was especially good at her job. She could tell the difference in cat noises permeating the darkness throughout the inner sanctum of the house…of which there were many in the night due to our own personal zoo. She could tell if the noises outside were “normal” noises, like an owl on the roof, or a squirrel scurrying across the deck, or maybe the neighbors coughing a bit too loudly out on their own back porch. Hey, what can I say? Sound travels here. So, when she barked, or worse, growled deep in her throat, you knew…you just knew…you had to get up to look to see what was going on to cause a disturbance in the force. She was trustworthy and reliable, and an amazing alarm system.
The dogs I have now? Not so much. If so much as a leaf blows across the yard three doors down, they bark. If the neighbor next door sneezes deep within the realm of her kitchen, they bark. If they hear a car that’s just a tad bit too loud in the exhaust system somewhere out there in the neighborhood, they bark. Maybe the couple two streets over slam a door in the midst of their
argument debate over “Star Wars vs Star Trek.” Yep, you guessed it. They bark.
Sometimes, I think these dogs bark just to hear themselves bark. And once one loses it, the other one loses it, and then the cacophony is truly a thing to behold.
“What are you barking at!? What’s going on!? Where’s the danger? Let me at it!”
“I don’t know, I just thought maybe I heard something but then I started barking and it sounded cool, so I kept doing it!”
“Oh wow, that’s a fantastic idea, I think I’ll bark too and then we’ll both be barking!? How cool is that??”
“Hey, that’s awesome! We can get into sync so there’s absolutely no lag time and all the human will hear is constant ear-splitting yaps in completely different timbres!”
“Why do you think she’s holding her ears and looking fierce?”
“I don’t know…maybe she just can’t stand the symphony that is our high-pitched barking because it’s simply too awe-inducing and lovely beyond words. We should bark louder!”
I love Petra and Rufus beyond belief, of that, there is no doubt in the world. But when these 2:00 a.m. concerts come around to awaken me from a dead-sleep, I sure do miss my Boopers.