Wednesday, June 07, 2006


Dogs are like kids. They know when you are tied up with something and won’t be able to tell them not to do something else, so that’s when they wisely decide to use these times to get into things. I’m well aware of this example of canine intelligence, so last night I planned ahead. Or so I thought….

I knew I was going to be stuck on the phone in a conference call for an hour last evening, so I decided to leash the dogs in the cabin so they couldn’t run around and get into trouble while I was leashed to the phone. Dog is leashed to the sofa, and Baby Dog is leashed to the stairs. All starts off well, and the conference call has been going for about half an hour or so when the barking starts.

Baby Dog is looking out the front door and has discovered a raccoon on the front deck. In her self-appointed role as The Enforcer, this is a major infraction of activities she considers allowable. So she uses her loud and angry voice to announce the infraction. Dog, who can’t see any of this, nonetheless considers Baby Dog’s angry barking Important and joins in. From his point of view, I seem to be ignoring Baby Dog’s announcement of Trouble (maybe I can’t hear her?!?) so adding his voice to hers may help promote my action. Dutifully, phone still to ear, I now go to the front door and see the raccoon for myself. I open the door and it scuffles away. That should be the end of the story.

But this result isn’t good enough for Baby Dog. She thinks I should be doing something more. She begins to howl—loudly. In moments, Dog starts howling too. Noses in the air, yodeling howls echo and bounce off the four walls. I mean, I might as well have a pack of wolves in the cabin. I know everyone else on the conference call can hear this. Heck, my grandmother in heaven can hear this. Since I can’t take the phone outside, I figure the only way to dull the noise is to go into the bathroom and close the door, hoping that will block the sound.

As soon as I close the door, the howling falters and then stops, perhaps in wonderment at the closed door, perhaps in realization the raccoon has indeed vacated the premises. There’s never a dull moment here, even when I’m inside the cabin and not out in the woods.


ChicagoLady said...

You gave me the best laugh in a long time with that story! It's amazing how dogs know when we really want them to be quiet. And of course they don't accommodate us!

Carolyn H said...

Thanks for the kind words! Some days, all I can do is shake my head.