About a month ago, I was out in our front yard with my kids. They were riding their scooters around while I was pulling weeds. I know, I get to do all the fun stuff while my poor kids are forced to enjoy the sunshine and the wind in their hair. But that’s another story. Our next-door neighbor drove up and pulled into her drive way. When she got out of the car she had with her a little puppy.
My daughter immediately emitted a sound like women make at a baby shower when the mommy-to-be opens up a little outfit with bunnies all over it (awwww!), then she ran for my neighbor and the puppy. We spent a few minutes cooing and petting the cute furry black and tan puppy. Our neighbor told us that her kids surprised her for her birthday with a puppy. After I extracted my daughter from the dog, I went back to weeding and the kids went back to their scooters.
Two weeks later we were out in our back yard having a BBQ. Our neighbors were gone somewhere and the puppy was in their yard barking up a storm. Now, I’m going to make this clear so no one gets the wrong idea. I like dogs. In fact, we are considering adding one to our family but this is dependent on whether or not my children will contribute to taking care of it so we probably won’t get one. While I enjoy spending time with “man’s best friend,” I do not enjoy the bark of certain dogs. I’m talking about that bark that seeps into your ears, pierces your auditory nerves, and travels down your spine like a million little mosquito bites. No matter what you do to ignore the barking or drown out the sound, it still makes the hair on the back of your neck stand on edge. That is the bark of my neighbor’s new puppy.
At first, I tried to chalk up the incessant barking to the fact that it was just a puppy and that it was adjusting to life with its new family. But it continued. One weeknight evening at around 8 o’clock it appeared that our neighbors were gone and had once again put the puppy out in the backyard, and it was barking. This wouldn’t have been a problem except for the fact that our children go to bed at 8 p.m. As I was putting my children to bed they both commented on the loud barking. We read books then I tucked them in and said good night. Ten minutes later, my daughter came out of her room complaining that she couldn’t sleep because of the barking. I put a fan in her room and turned it on to cover the noise. Fifteen minutes later, I heard my son crying in his room. I went to check on him and he said the barking was making his head hurt and he couldn’t sleep. This was getting annoying like telemarketing calls, taxes, and bunions.
Then, I got the mother of all migraines this past weekend. For those of you who have never had a migraine headache let me attempt to articulate what they feel like so you can understand. First you need a hot poker and some habanero sauce. Take the sauce and squirt it in your eyes then, take the hot poker and jam it in your ears. Now do this for approximately 10 hours and you’ll have a very good idea of what it is to experience a migraine. I was reeling from the pain in my dark room when the barking began and continued for a hour straight. I imagined myself jumping the fence, picking up the dog by its tail, and hurling it as far as I could. I wouldn’t really do that. I’d just kick the dog because I’d be afraid it would attack me. Seriously, I’m kidding. The amount of pain I was in, however, prevented me from moving or breathing.
Now I have a plan. I am going to go to my neighbor’s house this evening and politely mention that their dog barks constantly while they are gone. I will restrain myself from asking them if they could move to Nebraska, or at the very least ship their dog to Alaska. If that doesn’t work then I’m going to have to get tough and buy a bunch of doggie treats.
(Photo: Perfecto Insecto)