Sunday, March 10, 2013

Dog Tale 12: William and the Preemptive Bark

Now that spring is approaching, William, in spite of his advanced years, is feeling pretty spry, but at the beginning of the winter, he was showing his age in ways that are typical for big dogs. Because his hind legs sometimes seemed to weaken and threaten to give out, we didn't take the long walks we once did, choosing instead to venture only a block or so from home. One Sunday afternoon, however, William surprised me by striking out on the long route, which takes us eventually past Hudson Wine Merchants.

William hadn't been at HWM for weeks and was eager to visit, but when he toiled up the steps to the front door, a fiercely barking Percy rushed at the door, determined to defend his turf and prevent another canine from entering. William was confused and disappointed; he'd never been rebuffed at his favorite store before. Erin came out to the sidewalk with treats for William, but it didn't assuage the sting of being barked at. 

Heading on down the street, we passed Warren Street Antiques. There was a dog inside, standing near the door with his humans. To my utter shock, William barked at that dog just as Percy had barked at him. It was a preemptive bark. Apparently expecting the dog inside the store to bark at him, William decided to bark first.

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