Thursday 21 May 2015

The Order of Canada

I own a yappy little dog.

He doesn't bark all of the time, just when someone has the audacity to walk their dog on the street past our house. He will only bark if he happens to see the dog of course, mind you there is a kind of jungle telegraph between all of the yappy little dogs up and down the street. One dog barks and the next in line races to the window to add his or her voice to let all of the other dogs know there is a dog walking down the street. The same thing used to happen to me when I was delivering mail, you could follow my progress by the sound of barking dogs.

He barks when someone comes to the door which is a good thing, especially if our doorbell was broken. It isn't broken, but it brings comfort to know that we have a living, breathing backup doorbell. The trouble is that I have to step outside to talk to whoever is at the door or spend a couple of minutes yelling “SHUT UP YOU STUPID DOG! SHUT UP! SHUT UP! GOD DAMNED DOG!........ How can I help you?”

He barks when birds take liberties in our back yard. By liberties, I mean anything from flying overhead to looking for tasty worms or ants or seeds. God knows what those birds eat. I guess I am partly to blame, having built a few birdhouses over the years. Last year Buster surprised a magpie that was in the yard. I guess the magpie didn’t think Buster could jump four feet into the air and sink his teeth into it. I hate magpies! Buster got a treat for that.

Sometimes he will stand in the middle of the yard and bark at the sky. I have no idea what he is bothered by, but I like to think it is a warning to passing aliens that we don't allow landings on the grass. He might be worried about satellite surveillance, but so far he hasn’t started to wear a tin foil hat. Dogs see in a different spectrum than we do, so it is entirely possible that he is watching some kind of phantoms wandering around the back yard. Perhaps dead magpies.

He barks at the neighbours two big dogs, that are locked up all day and Buster has the run of the yard and house. It's kind of an asshole thing to do, but that is why I love him. Neither Buster nor I understand why people will have big dogs and ignore them. Why go to the effort? Sometimes I bark at those dogs.

There is this high school girl that Buster just hates! He can sense when she comes within doggy eyesight and he barks from the minute she rounds the corner until the minute she walks out of sight. He barks through the window, at the closed door, outside from behind the gate and for some inexplicable reason, he barks at the back fence. Perhaps he’s worried she will double back on him. This girl just calmly walks past the house as if there isn’t a dog going freakin’ nuts on the other side of the glass. I wonder what the dogs in the jungle telegraph think. They would come running to the window and all they see is some human walking along the street. Maybe she is a people sized squirrel wearing a human disguise and Buster is the only one who can see through the disguise.

I don’t much like the idea of six foot rodents walking among us unseen and I for one think Buster just may deserve the Order of Canada.

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