Wednesday, May 03, 2006

Meet the Barkers

One thing I’ve enjoyed about the dogs I’ve had the pleasure of owning in the past (craziness and aggression aside) is their love of other dogs. Upon seeing dogs on the street, they’d wag their tails and begin to pull the leash towards the little doggy friend in an attempt to get a good sniff. Not so with Timmy and Shorty. Especially Shorty. Perhaps his 7 lbs does not make him feel secure enough to not bark, but, whatever the reason…he barks. If given the chance, he gets up in the other dogs face and barks right in his face, which was observed recently in the old neighborhood by my Semi Famous Actor Former Neighbor Formerly Known As Semi Famous Actor Neighbor (or SFAFNFKASFAN for short). In fact, when we tried to introduce Timmy and Shorty to his well-behaved but undeniably much much larger Shepherd-mix, Coby, Shorty was up on his hind legs and angrily barking in his face, to which SFAFNFKASFAN said in disbelief, “He’s barking IN HIS FACE.” I awkwardly apologized, feeling terrible and embarrassed about my youngest’s behavior. Timmy had calmed a bit by that time and, eventually, Shorty calmed down enough to get around to smell Coby’s butt and then, of course, all was well: tails wagging, excited jumping, the whole nine. SFAFNFKASFAN suggested we do this a little bit every day so they feel more comfortable with each other. I felt lucky that SFAFNFKASFAN was so laid back about it. Otherwise, the entire four more days I lived next door to him would have been SHEER HELL. Just kidding.

But SFAFNFKASFAN and I never ran into each other again in the presence of our dogs, so when I saw him the few more times in passing, I was left to be awkward all on my own devices—I should mention that he’s like illegally good-looking—sans the bark-a-thon soundtrack.

Now the soundtrack-makers and I are in a whole new nabe in a huge building complex that allows dogs which means that there’s plenty of opportunity to piss off a whole new group of neighbors. Ruff!

I have taken to using a water bottle to curb the barking. This has had some success—especially with the less impassioned waterphobe Timmy. This practice of Spraying The Barker inevitably leads to us returning home and Shorty wiping his soaking wet head all over the carpet. Not a quick study, that one.

All that aside—and hopefully there will be some end to barking in sight—I really love them both. They take a lot of time and the training seems to be progressing slowly and/or going backwards, causing them to be worse, but it’s all worth it because they are very cute and funny and fun.

Due to a fabulous move-in special, I am fortunate enough to have the new apartment to myself for a month before needing to get a roommate. So it’s been me and the dogs. I am enjoying living alone but think having people to talk to at the end of the day might be a nice addition to my new living situation. Don’t get me wrong, I talk and talk and talk all day long to the dogs, but the discussions never get much further than No and Cute and Good boy and I love you and Bad Dog! Only mommy pees in the house! and Who’s hungry?

All this utilitarian talk gets tiresome, so I have found I’ve mixed it up a little by giving them each lots of nicknames:

Timmy, a.k.a:

Puppy dog
Puppy dup
[as in Buckaroo but the roo part never comes into play]

Shorty, a.k.a.:

[skipping over the Sureshot and straight onto:]

Just like SFAFNFKASFAN’s good looks might be illegal, the way Shortstop wags his whole body and raises his entire front legs to run up to you to say hi might be, too. Same with the way Timbot insists on licking your face because he loves you so much for feeding him/coming home/letting him sit in your lap.


Blogger Madelyn said...



6:36 AM  
Blogger ross_vegas said...

my dogs barks...a lot. he barks at other dogs, other people, cars in the alley, random arthritic house noises, his reflection in the mirror, the scent of someone who has long left the room.

6:59 AM  
Blogger Suie said...

I, however, have the perfect, non-barking dog. Of course you have to overlook his attempts to eat other dogs while he's on a leash (sans barking, natch) and his lovely habit of shitting all over the basement.

9:18 AM  
Blogger joestrummerlives said...

And I have Delilah, diva dog. This is her world, we just live in it. Barking dog owners of the world unite.

8:52 PM  

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