One Bark And One Bark Only

Her Turf

Until recently, my dog never barked.  She’s not terribly vocal, although she practically purrs when being pet and she does whimper occasionally in her sleep.  I can count on one hand the times she raised her voice, with a handful of notable exceptions.  In a prior life, I suspect from her physical attributes she may have been a wet nurse to many puppies, and as such, she’s not a fan of the little rascals, particularly when they nip at her.  She communicated her viewpoint on this particular point to our young pup prior to his reaching maturity.  The two of us have this in common.

Once she’s faintly beckoned my attention while waiting for me to get in the car when I casually stood outside socializing with friends.  I didn’t even know she really possessed the gusto to manage a string of barks until we moved into a home with a yard and she took it upon herself to defend her turf.  It matters not if a dog is petite or powerful, if you dare approach her yard and proceed to bark at her, she will return the sentiment.  Don’t mess with an eight-year-old and her covered patio and meager fence.  Don’t get me wrong, I like my yard and prefer a secure house, but the fence is only a few feet high, and the grass is mostly random ground cover.  It’s not worth the commotion.

In My Corner

After nearly a year together, my girl became my camping companion while on a tour of the state parks of North Dakota.  She focuses on the squirrels and from where they appear, assuming that they will always reappear from the exact same place.  This pursuit keeps her occupied while I assemble our tent and prep our campsite.  The first time I ushered her into our nylon shell, she immediately curled up on her bed and knew instinctively this scenario met with her approval.  She fell asleep shortly thereafter and with the exception of one stormy situation, she equates the zipping closure with bedtime.

So mirrors our evening in the Cedars of Lebanon State Park (see Psalm 92:12 from February 2020).  I assemble the tent and she waits for me to give her the all-clear to call it a night.  It’s already dark, and by no means the first time we complete the task in such conditions, but suddenly, a single, loud bark bellows over our campsite.  I turn to discover my girl posed at attention, not threateningly, but sternly, alerting me to passing campers, simply meandering their way from the comfort station to their campsite.  My girl takes it upon herself to notify me of the presence of others.  I rarely consider her a security measure, but rather a friend to share the experience, yet in this moment, my girl barks, just one bark, clear and definitive.  This is her campsite and her human ought to be aware that others are in our midst.  Thanks, baby girl, I appreciate the head’s up.  Now let’s get some sleep.