Bark! Bark! (Shush!)

Whenever the dog senses someone is at the front door he explodes in an ear-shattering commotion of vocal violence and door-clawing destruction. Deafness commences and paint is scraped off in neat vertical lines by furious, and improbably artistic, paws. 

At these times, the pup is something of a monster, a fleecy, compact gremlin with the screeching pipes of an F-16 taking off. The transformation from hound to hellion is startling, obnoxious, and comprehensively annoying.

Paint peeled off with house-guarding gusto

Cubby is a good dog. Cubby is a bad dog. He is both — say, 94.2% good, 3% bad, and the rest is murky amorality. But, Jesus, he is loud

His lightning-jag meltdowns — crack! — upend your equilibrium with the sharp jolt of a car crash. They scare the holy crap out of you. And that just pisses you off more.

It’s not unlike a child throwing a tantrum, but those horrible scenes are strictly selfish displays — look at me, gimme me what I want! — whereas what we have here are exhibitions of the dog’s innate sense of protecting his home and humans.

Maybe he gets something out of it — a shudder of heroism, a surge of purpose — though I doubt it’s a conscious ego grab. And for that I reserve steadfast respect. He has integrity.

Still, the outbursts are grating and hair-raising. Imagine a swarm of bees loosed in your living room at 150 decibels, and instead of buzzing, it’s bark-yapping. (Bark-rapping — now that would be something else entirely.) Voices are never raised at Cubby, until he goes batshit for the poor, unwitting FedEx guy. 

In a semi-controlled roar we chastise the dog: Cubby! No! Stop! Shush! And my stand-by: Shut the HELL up! (Throw in another expletive for spice, and accuracy.)

He understands none of it. The dog yelps away, scratching the door, bounding  from chair to couch, having a rousing old time. Or maybe he’s scared, or chasing attention. I visited a couple of dog-expert sites and they were oddly lame and unhelpful. (Although they did say that yelling at the dog is counterproductive. Whoops.)

Thing is, Cubby has no intention of attacking whoever is visiting, be it the Jehovah’s Witnesses or a friendly guest. When the door opens, he stops barking, tail wagging wildly, muzzle madly sniffing. It seems he just wants to mark his territory with the sonic boom of a trusty guard dog. Considering his size, this is both sweet and sad.

Of course Cubby most of the time is chill, adoring and delightfully docile. Belly rubs are his drug of choice. His joyous, jumpy greetings lift you up. You should see the old boy sleeping, nostrils fluttering, legs kicking. It kinda cracks your heart. Silence.

The beast at rest

4 thoughts on “Bark! Bark! (Shush!)

  1. My friend’s dog from high school did this, she was a husky/shepherd mix and her ears would go flat and her eyes narrow–as she barked and exploded at the sound of the front door. They were on the second floor so the outside door would set her off and then footsteps approaching. When it was me coming in, I could picture her from the other side of the door; I as I was coming up the stairs. Sometimes I would shout out to her by name that it was only me to no avail. But as soon as someone opened the door and she recognized you she would jump up and greet you with kisses.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Shut the F@#* up! Right? Deeply annoying and so counterproductive. You described the effect of his barking perfectly. My heart practically stops beating when I’m in a room with a dog that does this. Ouch! And damn it.
    But Cubby is also perfect, and this must always be taken into account. As are all our pups.
    Thanks for a great read. xoxo

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Anne! Thanks for writing. I swear to god, I’ll rip Cub’s vocal cords out whenever he shreds the space-time continuum with his barking. But wait — today the mailman made his rounds and the hound was quiet and still. Maybe he read my post about him? In that case, I forgive all. My best to you, xoxo.


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