My parents have tried for nearly ten years to curb my freedom to bark whenever I please. They have sprayed me with water, tugged my leash, used several commands, snapped their fingers, nudged me, tried to distract me with food, and even pay me off. I defeated them every time.
Lately, they have carried an orange back scratcher and given me a scooch in the butt when I barked. I turned around and barked at the stick. I never got hit with the scratcher. No matter how much I bark a human hitting a dog with a stick is never a good look.
My parents were resigned to being the embarrassment of the neighborhood whose every walk was accompanied of five pounds of bark.
Then, a few nights ago, during a walk, in the middle of a barking rant, Daddy tapped the stick figure on the ground, next to me. It startled me, and I stopped barking. Oh, darn! Something worked. I would have to beat the tapping scratcher. I scanned the horizon and began to bark again.
Tap. Tap. Tap.
“What was that?” I stopped barking. It was that damn orange stick! I was not going to be defeated by a little piece of wood. We continued our walk. We saw a zombie taking his early evening walk. We love barking at him. A few barks, a few taps, and I gave in again. I could hear Foley shaking her head in disgust.
Then I heard a dog barking inside a house. Nothing gets me worked up like another dog barking. I gave it right back to him. Then the infernal tapping began again, and it made me stop. I hate that scratcher. River follows my barks, so he stopped too.
We went around a corner. There was a woman walker who had just got her mail. She was walking on the other side of the street in the same direction as she was. Normally I would bark at her every step demanding she gives me some attention. But I was discombobulated by that darn scratcher. I couldn’t muster an arf. The woman looked at us and said: “They so want to bark don’t they?”
I let loose with some frustrated barks. She asked for it! But there was tapping, and I stopped again. It wasn’t fair. That woman mocked me.
I am going to have to think about this. I am going to have to ask myself WWFD? (What would Foley do?”) I have to defeat the scratcher for dogs everywhere.
The resistance to the stupid, big, orange stick figure is on!