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The Problem with Poodles

Do you have any weird neighbors?  I sure do! 

Not that there’s anything bad with being weird.

Right next door to us, there’s a poodle named Annie and her mommy.  When I first met Annie, she was so nice!  She came right up to me and we introduced ourselves – the way that we dogs do, of course: We sniffed eachother’s butts to see what the other one smelled like – you can learn a lot about someone by how they smell!  Humans do this weird shakey thing with their hands.  I don’t see how that helps at all, but I don’t understand a lot of things humans do.

Anyway, when I first met Annie and her mommy, I liked them both.  Annie’s mommy said how cute I was and pet me – I love pettings! – and asked Daddy and Mama a bunch of questions about me.  Meanwhile, Annie and I kind of scampered with eachother, playing while our parents talked.  The next few times I ran into Annie – usually when we were on walkies – we got along just fine and tried to run up to eachother to say hi as best we could while still on our leashes.

Well, first impressions aren’t always right.  There have been a few times I have run into Annie when her mommy is letting her pad around the yard out front (we live in a complex of what Mama calls “townhouses”).  Annie’s mommy is still nice as ever – but Annie has come charging after me and yelling at me for coming over to her property!  She’s not growling or baring her teeth or anything really scary like that, but still it seems kind of mean. 

And that’s not all.  Annie likes to bark.  A lot.  There have been times that I wake up at 2AM when Mama crawls into bed with me and Daddy that I can hear Annie barking next door.  Over nothing.  All night long. 

Now, I tend to be the quiet sort myself, but I can’t begrudge a good barking when there’s a reason behind it.  Take me, for example:  I bark when someone comes at the door because a) I want Mama and Daddy to know someone is there, b) I am so excited that I get to meet someone new!  Sometimes I bark when I’m playing because I’m having so much fun.  If I need to pee and Mama or Daddy isn’t getting ready for walkies, I bark to let them know I have to go (though usually they just take me without me having to make a big deal over it).  When  I’m on walkies I sometimes bark to let other dogs know how tough I am (don’t tell them, but really if they came up to me I would probably just sniff them and walk away).

But come on, Annie.  You are just making a lot of noise because you’re bored or something.  How can your mommy sleep through all that noise?  Mama has a hard time sleeping when Daddy snores (which is most nights), so I can’t imagine how your mommy feels hearing you bark all night. 

And besides, if you bark all the time, how is your mommy going to know when something really important is going on? 

Today’s lesson: Barking all the time is the canine equivalent of crying wolf.

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