Tuesday, December 22, 2009

THE JOY OF BARKING! by Mel


Barking is a very important means of self-expression for a dog.  Even omega dogs such as myself like to bark.  Mom says I bark too much, but that is just her opinion.  My own humble opinion is that I bark exactly the right amount.

I like to bark when I am happy or excited or scared.  And I also bark to alert the other dogs to the fact that something interesting is happening, and they might want to bark, too.  Mom calls this "a barkable event."

Of course, Gabe and Piper are basenjis, so they don't bark.  It's really ironic, when you think about it, that I ended up living in a family with basenjis.  Gabe barks occasionally, but he only barks about three times and that is all.  I felt much better when Barry joined the family because after that there were two of us barkers.

One thing I bark about is if I see squirrels in the back yard.  When I start barking at squirrels, the other dogs come running out to try to catch the squirrels.  Gabe and Piper think it is stupid of me to bark at squirrels because it makes the squirrels run away.  But the fact is that I just can't help myself.  When I see a squirrel, I get very excited, and when I get excited, I bark!

I also bark at the mail carrier and at people walking their dogs past our house and at kids running through our yard.  Barry barks at all these same things, so we sound quite formidable, and we always manage to scare away any would-be intruders.

Sometimes Barry and I also bark at other dogs when we are out walking with Mom.  Mom hates it when we do this, and she always praises us if we don't do it.  So we don't do it quite as much as we used to.

Another good time for barking is when Mom is fixing our breakfast or supper.  It had not occurred to me to bark about getting fed, but then Barry started doing it sometimes.  First Barry just whined when Mom was fixing our food, but then he started getting so excited that his whine turned into a bark.  Barry gets very turned on by the thought of eating, so he can't help it if he whines and barks.  It makes me happy to think about eating, too, so I have also begun to bark while Mom is fixing our food.  Mom usually tells Barry and me to be quiet when we do this, and sometimes she even stops fixing the food until we quit barking.  But as soon as she starts again, we start again, too.

About the only other time I bark is when I am telling someone to back off.  I do this with scary people or scary dogs.  I don't waste a lot of time growling first.  I just snap at them and bark, and this is how I deliver the message that they shouldn't mess with me.  They usually get the message, too, I'm happy to say.

Well, I guess that's all I have to say about barking.  It's time for me to go look in the yard and see if there are any squirrels I can bark at!

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