Tuesday, March 1, 2011

One-Upping My Mother

Yeah, Mom, I bought you an iPod, so there. How's that for ruining a surprise? HA.

(Also, I love you. Enjoy.)

An Open Letter to the Barkingest Dog in the World

To the Dog in Apartment #5,

I couldn't even begin this letter with "dear." You are not dear; nothing about you is dear, despite the fact that you come in a deceptively cuddly, furry package. Now that I think about it, not-dear dog in apartment #5, I don't know whether I've ever even seen you. For all I know, you could be the cutest dog there ever was - or the ugliest. But for now, you remain something of a Wizard of Oz-like character, except that you cannot grant me wishes & you don't care a wink about my personal welfare, like how much I sleep or whether, when I do sleep, I hear your big, woofing canine voice in my dreams.

I've stopped keeping track of the things that set you off: the whirring of the driers in the laundry room next door, the sound of feet scuffling as neighbors walk past, the voices of handymen, the falling of a silent piece of dust outside your door. I know dogs have super-sensitive hearing, but you must have superpowers, dog, because you can pick up on a car door slamming miles away. That, or you don't care whether there's anything bark-worthy going on & you bark just to keep busy instead of, say, to alert people to potential dangers - thereby using your dog powers for evil rather than for good.

I confess, dog, that I have daydreamed on more than one occasion about how to best silence you. I'm afraid, though, that all of these solutions involve slipping rat poison under your door & hoping you're hungry for a powdery, mid-afternoon snack. The preferred daydream, of course, is that someone just trains you. Or moves you to a bigger apartment, or a house even, where you belong & which you deserve. I've even considered offering to walk you myself, just in case no one else has taken on the role, but this would mean, you know, walking a dog, & I don't really like dogs, all because a poodle once chased bicycle-riding, pre-pubescent me into a ditch. Sorry.

Here's what I don't get, dog. If you want to bark at the requisite barkable things - someone knocking on your door, for example, or people being really loud in the hallway (which, I should not, never happens) - I wouldn't give you any much flack about it. After all, you're a dog. You're supposed to bark; it's your God-given right & duty.

But here's the thing: You are the dog who cried wolf. Someday, God forbid, if there's ever a real problem - your owner has been dead inside the apartment for days, your kitchen is on fire, a burglar has hazarded to break into our little apartment complex - no one is going to believe you. I'm They're going to say, "There's that damn dog, barking again. Must be a Tuesday." And then your owner will continue to rot or your kitchen will continue to burn or the burglar will continue to burgle.

So you see, dog, you're really putting us all in danger with your constant, maddening, unrelenting, incessant - get the picture? - barking. Your credibility is totally shot.

*Blogger's Note: I want to make clear that I would never, never, never harm an animal & am mostly just angry with this dog's owners for not taking proper care of him. And I may indeed consider speaking with the owners if it keeps up. For now, though, I hope you'll appreciate the frustration expressed in my open letter & not take me for an animal hater or abuser!
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