Because the temperature has risen, we have started walking again which means Pocket, and I bark at anything we see. Usually, it's just humans out for a stroll. We bark for attention, but we rarely get any. The barks that say “we are fierce creatures that will rip you apart” are the same as the “come play with us” with bark. One of the few design flaws dogs have.
It isn't only people who are on the receiving end of our barks. There are those home-wrecking cats that are always lurking about causing who knows what mischief. There are the plump turkeys that somehow stay upright despite their fat bodies and spindly legs. We bark at the cats to chase them. We bark at the turkeys to scare them off. And then there are the dogs.
Dogs understand our barks. If there is a pup inside their house we back a friendly greeting of "Hello, bark bark. How are you, bark bark?" If our parents could understand us, they would find this exchange as dull as our monotonous barking.
.There are two different barks for dogs who are walking their humans. If the other dog barks first or responds to us with some of their yips, we both boastfully bark that we have terrific parents who give us the best of everything. It is like a noisy Christmas letter.
Then there are the dogs who are tied up outside. If they're on the grass, they bark at us to stay off their property. We bark back that we're going to pee on their lawn and claim it as our own. Sometimes if we are on the same side of the street and we have anything left in the tank, we will leave them an infuriating little squirt.
Sadly, we see dogs chained up by the front door. There is no dirt or grass where they are trapped, just tar, and cement. They can't lie down. The surface is hard and unforgiving or, in the summer, unbearably hot. They are told to do their business, but they resist because we are clean animals. We don't want to poop on a hard surface and live with it next to us for the rest of the day. We don't want to pee on cement any more than a man wants to pee within six inches of a brick wall. The splatter gets all over us, and we are instantly labeled incontinent.
The poor dog is barking "free me, free me. Let me go on a nice long walk with you. At least let me lay down on the cool grass."
We are talking too. ‘Hey, lady get out here and bring your dog in the house. No dog should have to live on cement.”
My parents comment about the poor baby. But they don't bark. Humans are too polite to bark everything they feel. Barking that someone is a bad dog parent will only bring trouble down the road. But they do sympathize with the poor pup, and we are reminded how lucky we are.
Then we return home tired from our long walk. We sit in one of the recliners and rest our weary bones and are aching vocals.
But then we see through the kitchen window two people walking their dog down the street, and we take off barking for the humans to play with us and for the dogs not to pee on our lawn.
"Is there any off switch for these dogs," my parents wonder.
But we know they don't want that. The sound of silence is the most deafening of them all.