Dear readers, you probably know by now that my dear furry family members are not asked to do too much for their share of kibbles and treats. We show respect to each other (well most of the time) or at least try to give each other the benefit of the doubt! Sometimes we play with each other, and sometimes play means we steal a toy and take off!
I do appreciate when we are sitting outside, looking up at the night skies together and suddenly we hear an odd noise in the trees–then both Ruffles and Mae-be will go over and check it out for us. My neighbors have said that MY dogs (really–can I own them? Ha! I think not!) are pretty quiet– usually only barking if they clearly sense danger!
But danger means different things at different times! During the windstorms Palm Tree fronds and flying debris were definitely things to bark at– preferably from a safe distance! Linemen on power poles and some of the women doing the re-wiring—well, yes, of course they deserve several warning barks.
Fruit tree rats and raccoons in the trees–yup! They know they are NOT to be in our yard!! A neighbor passing me lemons while I share tangerines is certainly worth barking about until Mom gets Mae-be to quiet down. This can take a stern talk as well as moving away from the fence. Or, if all else fails a rawhide bone!
Here’s where we come to the parting of the ways in doggy decorum. Ruffles will act all happy to a neighbor and is certain that if she could just reach that human they would LOVE to have her sniffs and maybe even a kiss! She has so much “socialness” in her wriggly little body!! But Mae-be? Oh no!
You may remember from a previous post that Mae-be came into my life while Buster the Brindle older Boxer boy and the dear Honey who was the aging female were still a part of my life. Buster protected Honey and enjoyed playing with Mae-be when Honey wanted to just sit in the sun. And Buster understood his role as The Watch Dog— a job he took VERY seriously! As time rolled on he must have taught Mae-be (although I must admit I have read about this watch dog characteristic in several Boxer books), and anything going on at the fences is worth their attention!
My neighbor has been having some repair work done on his garage and patio-deck on top of the garage. This is in the back yard, in 50% view of Mae-be. The concrete block wall that separates our back yards helps a bit, but the handyman thought he could lean the long 4 X 4 wooden beams and porch posts against that block wall.
“BARK BARK BARK—Mom–do you see this?!? There are many odd pieces of wood sticking into MY yard!! BARK BARK! I know you don’t want that!! Why won’t this guy move them??!”
So what do I do? I come out again–and again. I talk with the handyman, and he thinks she’s funny and tries to prove to me she’s wanting to play!! Oh my goodness!
That’s when I take Mae-be over to our ‘talking bench’ –every home needs a talking bench or sofa or Blue Chair– or possibly a Quiet Zone.
“Now Mae-be, the man has a job to do for our friend Mike.” She likes Mike! “And you barking at him all day is really of no use.” She looks at me like I have lost all good sense and says to me, “You mean, you expect me to ignore sticks of wood on OUR FENCE– and a man on top of the garage next door??!” Now I can see she really IS confused, and not believing me at all!! “That’s the area that I promised Buster I would patrol for you!!”
I pet her and try to show her with my calm demeanor that she can just allow this to be. After a while I think perhaps Mae-be would like a distraction, so I get up and say to her “How about a treat? Girls–are you ready for a treat?”
Mae-be does half of a Happy Donut and says “Sure!! That would be great!”
Ruffles lifts her head and says “I’ll take some of that action! I don’t know why she’s making such a fuss anyhow!” I head over to the far side of the yard to give them treats and to let them supervise the feeding of the fish in the water ponds! Ruffles even likes what she thinks are Fish Sticks–floating Koi and Goldfish food pellets.
And for a while the backyard feels like the quiet sanctuary I need it to be. Ahhhhh–I exhale as I happily see Mae-be and Ruffles turn their attention to their morning kibble. It was being ignored while guarding the fence was a priority. I inhale and say “Thank you Creator, for wise and loyal family members!” I exhale and ask for a special blessing on their day and for the patience and understanding of other neighbors who may not understand a barking Boxer!
Blessings to You, Beth & the Girls
- 8 Simple Ways to Keep Your Dog From Barking (everydayhealth.com)