When Good Dogs Go Bad

If you have ever had a canine as part of your household, you know they have a bundle of emotions to rival the most extravagant diva. Some suffer in silence, but that tends to be the exception.

Like this morning. I had a service call scheduled. The service man would arrive between 9 and 11.

9:25a.m. – I have pressed the safety envelope as far as I dare. The dogs follow me into the bedroom, par usual—my three satellites . ‘Slap’. I put up the gate, corralling DSCN3803them in the limited comfort of the room they happily call their domain every night of their lives.

“Small, Medium and Large”, as they are affectionately known to other doggie parents in the park, do not take kindly to having their household free range upset. But as the ceramic doorbell plaque at my front entrance warns, “Release the Hounds”, they like unknown company even less.

There is an inborn, ingrained, instinct present in canines to protect the domicile. I get it. They love their ‘mommy’ and the ‘others’ that inhabit the house. The men that live here are tolerated, even loved when they are rubbing any of the pink tummies so happily presented at the least provocation. Mommy? They would rip jugular from throat to save her from unknown males in uniforms—or so they posture.

A service-man?

Dakota Night BarkingHe is the devil incarnate only to be rivaled by the whir of a weed whacker or roar of a leaf blower. Gardeners are, in the doggie job description, loathed and to be barked at from first footfall to turn of truck key upon exit.

But this new and never before seen/smelled man in dark uniform ringing the bell (didn’t he read the warning?) send Small, Medium and Large into an epileptic cataclysm of jumping, turning, growling and yapping to rival end of days.

So I admit it. I lured them into the bedroom and shut them in. As I sit on the edge of what is usually my comfy relaxation chair in the family room, they gather at the gate wedged in the doorway, a sad trio. Medium cries pitifully in a tone that rivals the upper registers of human hearing. Small sits neatly looking upward to the top of the gate awaiting the return of Mommy’s face. And Large? She takes advantage of the cool wood floorspace to sprawl in her more mature patience.

Medium’s whine grates at my frayed nerves as I try to distract myself by watching The View. The two hour window is half over. Don’t the service providers realize the assault on doggie psyches their waiting window inflicts?

Should I go in the bedroom? The gate is somewhat challenging to step over, especial in a rush to answer the door. And when the bell rings, we have already discussed the perfect canine storm that will erupt. Now Medium is sniffing at the gate trying to catch a whiff of her Mommy’s presence. The fan is on, blowing my scent away from them and into the family room. Medium tones down the whine. No Mommy means wasted whine.DSCN3885

11:04 a.m. “Ding dong” Bastard.

At least all the suffering has not been wasted. The bedroom explodes in a blizzard of righteous barking. The suffering has paid off. All three get to protect the domicile with their vicious posturing. I know they’d melt at the first forward advance, but for now, we’ll let them think it was their persistent fear-envolking threat that sent him on his way.

Flip. The gate is set aside and they run full out into the backyard with two more minutes of aggressive din to make sure he is gone. As they file back indoors, smug expression of triumph lifting the curl of each lip, I collapse into my chair–comfy once more.

“Thanks, guys.”

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