First, let me say that I respect my dog’s right to free speech. Barking is a normal part of life. To an extent. At 6am, my extent of respecting his right to free speech diminishes.
And yes, I know that the definition of insanity is doing the same thing over and over and expecting different results. Spare me. It’s 6 am.
The morning begins….
Dog #2: ScratchScratchScratchScratchScratchScratchScratch
Before you get all “Dog #2 has a medical issue!1!1! BAD OWNER! BAD!!” on me:
Dog #2 is just an itchy dog. Considering that she used to be afraid of flashlights, brooms, and anything else her previous owner used to beat her with, just scratching is fine with me, and is a step up for us. Scratching, to Dog #2, is like her morning coffee.
Dog #1: 😐
Dog #1 is awake. And he is not pleased about this. Dog #1 is not a morning dog. If he had his druthers, he’d stay up until 4am and sleep until 1pm. Basically, he’s a teenager in a fur coat.
This is when Neighborhood Dog Chorus begins. I live in a dog-dense neighborhood. Everyone has a dog. (“A dog”: At least 5.) Sometime around 6am, the “lead dog” or “choir master” sends out the call: “AROOOO! AROOOO!” This is their “Lady and the Tramp” reenactment and homage.
You know it’s bad when you can tell the dog by their barking.
Me: That’s just Fluffy. You don’t need to bark back at him.
Dog #1: Like hell I don’t.
More dogs join in. Dog #1 responds to their barking based on his previous interactions with them, or if he just thinks they are ugly.
This can be translated to:
“My fellow canines, I join in your morning exaltations – and I extend to you greetings from my lair of joy and happiness. Stay the **** away from my house or I will kill you.”
This is followed by my futile attempts to order him to stop barking. First I try in English. “Enough, Thank you.” Then I go through various languages, in case the dog has become monolingual overnight. I run through French, Spanish, German, Farsi, Mandarin (In that order, based on the percentage chance of him “speaking” that language.) Then it dawns on me (again) that the dog is just speaking Dog, and could care less what obscure language I bring to the table.
If the dog stops barking for a millisecond, I praise him.
Me: Good boy, no bark! Good boy!
Dog #1: Seriously? I laugh at you. I laugh at your face.
Dog #1 and Dog #2 do this in synchronization. To those of you who do not believe that dogs have distinct personalities – I laugh at you. This entire time, Dog #2 has the facial expression of 😐 and does not bark. I believe this is because God does not give you more than you can handle.
Me: Bark again and Dog Time-Out.
At this point, Dog #1 starts vocalizing instead of barking.
“Waaa Waaaam Raaaw.” “Wooooo Rrowrrr Wwwaaaaan.”
According to Dog #1, he is technically *not* barking, and therefore does not qualify for time-out. This is genius.
I do not remember how this all ends, because I stick my head under the covers and pretend I am on a tropical island. This is when I get the paw smack on the arm. And then the head if I don’t get up right away. And the morning continues.