An ode to The Dog Next Door

You are a clever one.

You seem to be able to sense precisely when I have decided to stop watching Conan interview Louis CK on YouTube in favor of going to sleep and have timed your paranoid howls at the proverbial moon to fit this occasion.

I, having learnt all too well how you operate in the past six months or so that our neighbour’s grown-up children seemed to have brought you into our lives, give up on my mission towards Dreamland as a result. I go back to what I’m doing. We both know you won’t stop until exhaustion or a swift kick force you to do so.

You’re a rather large and scary-looking dog who isn’t designed to be indoors and I feel sorry for you, but if you’re not a poodle or an Irish terrier then a life of soft couches and air conditioning was never meant for you and no amount of barking will change that. Sometimes I want to jump the fence and hug you – other times, my motives aren’t as warm and fuzzy – but then your paranoid barking becomes more of a savage growl and I hope the other, smaller, cuter canine you share your outdoor living area with knows a thing or two about conflict resolution.

You’ve guilted my mother, bless her, into occasionally leaving our garage light on before bed so that you aren’t left wallowing in the depths of night. She thinks you’re legitimately afraid of the dark but we know the truth, don’t we? That your owners are more than a little deaf or at least immune to the completely avoidable levels of noise you make on an increasingly common basis and so, instead of soothing you or shutting you up, leave you be.

Some afternoons, when I think I might enjoy a quiet few hours with Don Draper or Clark Kent, your voice invades. You are all I can think about. At first it is irritating. Then it is infuriating. Then I want to die. And lastly I am reduced to a speechless, rambling shell of the young woman I used to be who laughs at nothing and chuckles every other time you bark. You break me with your ludicrous determination to annoy the bejesus out of and/or terrify whatever is the cause of your concern.

But you’ve outdone yourself this evening, truly. How do you do it? How could you have barked from the moment I started writing this post, all the way through my numerous distractions involving George Pell and a TV run of Pulp Fiction and make it to now, when my mother has lost all sympathy for you, slammed several windows closed and cursed the day you were born?

It’s impressive. You’re impressive. I know it and those of us in this street who aren’t reliant on hearing aids knows it.

Now for the love of all that is good and holy, SHUT. UP.

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