Thanks to my friend and fellow writer Marty, I have begun to wonder about things. And now I have something to say when I am blog-topic-less. So…here goes.
Did you ever wonder why a dog who barks incessantly suddenly stops?
It happened to me the other night. For almost an hour, Rover kept woof-woofing. It sounded as if he were somewhere down the street…the sounds weren’t close enough to be next door, but loud enough to be annoying. A German Shepard, perhaps. Or maybe an alto poodle. Left home alone. And unhappy.
Woof, woof. Arf, arf.
Don’t get me wrong. I love dogs. Really, I do. Anyone who’d ever seen me with Snuggles (my cocker spaniel—see photo) knows that’s the truth. But on a warm evening, with the windows open, the woof, woof, arf, arf was, as my friend Bev would say, “working my last nerve.” (I love that saying.)
So I closed the windows. The arfs were muted, but still there. I tried to read. I washed the dishes. I flicked on the TV news, turned it up loud. The woofs evolved into a deep howl.
Then, suddenly, they stopped.
I waited. Nothing. Nadda. Yay.
Then I started to, as Marty would say, wonder why.
My thoughts could have gone to dark places, but, as I said, I love dogs. I decided to deduce that his (or her) owner must have returned home. The sweet dog was happy again, wagging his tail, trotting into his house, crunching Milk Bones and enjoying a few laps of cool water that would no doubt soothe his throat that must have been burning from all those vocals.
I returned to luxuriate in the quiet and stopped wondering why. Until the morning when I had to do errands.
I opened the door to the outside, juggling my keys, my purse, and a trash bag (I was en route to the dump). I stepped out onto the small deck and into the early sunshine. All was lovely until I took my next breath. My throat closed up. My eyes suddenly watered. I tried to mouth-breathe, the way a doctor friend had once taught me.
Unfortunately, nothing helped. I quickly raced to my car, threw the trash bag in the back, jumped into the driver’s seat, and slammed the door. But even inside my hermetically-sealed VW Jetta, the smell was unmistakeable: skunk.
And that’s when I knew. The dog must have stopped barking because he’d had a visit from one of the neighborhood black-and-white critters. He must have forgotten that this is their island, not his. And I suppose, like me, even skunks appreciate silence.
The end. No more wondering needed.
P.S. I have not heard a peep, so I assume that the dog has returned to the mainland with his owners. Unfortunately, the aroma of his visitor still lingers. Not as strong, but still there.
I have no idea if there is a moral to this story. Maybe Marty can come up with one.