© 2013 Aaron Atkinson

The Barking Game

Our dogs have developed a bad habit.

With cooler weather upon us, we open the front door and let the cool September breeze flood into the house. This sightline opens up a whole new world for the dogs who view the sidewalk as their own and every passerby as an intruder.

And thus they bark.

And they bark.

And they bark.

They escalate each other, one feeding off of the excitement of the other. Even though we punish them for this bad behavior, the barking continues.

But Lola is smart. She knows that barking leads to trouble and she hates getting in trouble. But I think she likes to see Indie get in trouble.

Lola will, on occasion, meander over to the front door. She’ll give a single bark and then she’ll run off a short distance and watch.

Indie hears her bark and, not even knowing what she’s barking at, joins in and starts to bark her head off. In return she gets scolded.

Laura:¬†Ugh! Indie’s barking has got to stop.

Me: She wouldn’t bark if Lola didn’t start it. (Gesturing to Lola) I mean just look at her. She frames Indie and gets off scot-free!

Laura: I think you’re right! You know what Lola is thinking right now?

Me: What?

Laura: She’s thinking – score one for little Lola and zero for big, stupid Indie.

 

 

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