Cry Me a River, Pooch

My dog Barnaby has a remarkable vocal range.  I’m pretty sure he’s an opera diva at heart.

There’s the deep booming bass bark reserved for strange dogs, impertinent squirrels, and the garbage truck on Monday mornings.

There’s the high yipping bark to draw my attention to the fact that he has been impatiently waiting for someone to take the hint and take him to throw his freakin’ frisbee, already.

And there’s a plethora of notes, tones, and sounds in between.  My dog doesn’t just bark.  Barking is for amateurs.  My dog sings.  He can trill, yodel, and return to coda.  He understands the delicate use of dynamics.  He can practically harmonize with himself.

Therefore, when my dog cries, it is no regular production.  It is a heart-rending, nails-on-a-chalkboard sound of distressed agony.  It thus becomes of utmost importance to figure out why my dog is crying and make him stop doing it.  Having owned my dog for almost two years, I now feel qualified to venture the following assessment of things that make my dog cry:

Sad things that happen:



Hitting his head (hard) on the bathroom sink


My forgetting to feed him


Getting his toenails clipped painlessly


Being left alone for hours in his crate


Wagging his tail so hard that it bleeds


His squeaky toy getting stuck under my bed


Thus was it that I was brought forth from the bathroom this morning in emotional disarray, fully convinced, by the sounds Barnaby was making, that in the five minutes he’d been alone he’d fashioned a bear trap out of the coffee table and had gotten stuck in it.  But no.  My dog’s full-on cry for help was initiated by the loss of his Squeaky Rubber Kong Toy under the bed.  The unique acoustics that carried his strangled cries so well were due to the fact that he’d gotten about half his body under the bed and couldn’t get any further.  Was he stuck?  No.  But that Squeaky Rubber Kong Toy was just a few feet out of reach.  Temptation without satisfaction caused his little doggy mind to completely short-circuit.  This was the biggest tragedy of his life so far.  Like some canine Tantalus, his heart’s desire was always just one wriggle away.

So I moved the bed.  He got his toy.  The order of the universe has been restored.  At least…until next time.


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