Friday, March 8, 2013

Dog Tale 10: William Finds His Voice

William never used to be a dog who barked. He never barked in the situations when you want a dog to bark--for example, when someone approaches the house or knocks on the door. But in his old age, as with some people, William has found his voice. He now barks whenever he wants or needs something. He barks when he has to go out. He barks when he wants fresh water in his bowl. He barks when the cat has left food in his dish and William wants to lick it clean. I cannot distinguish any difference in the sound of his barks, and it is often incredibly frustrating to try to figure out why he's barking and what will make him stop.

Such was the case a few weeks ago. I was upstairs working at the computer; William was downstairs barking. We had just come in from a long walk, so I knew he didn't have to go. He had licked the cat bowl clean hours before, so it couldn't be that. I had given him fresh water when we came home from the walk, so it wasn't that either. Since I was quite convinced that William really didn't need anything, I tried to ignore the barking, but finally, driven to distraction, I went downstairs to find out what the problem was. William, I discovered, was barking at the couch. 

The couch, which is really a kind of daybed, has two rows of pillows at the back. The first row of pillows had all flopped down, covering the seat and preventing William from lying there. I propped the pillows back up where they belonged, William jumped up on the couch and lay down, and peace and quiet were restored.

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