Conversations With Small Dogs: A New Enemy

1:30 AM, almost every morning for the past two weeks

[Buddy, who had been sleeping quietly, curled up on the bed at my feet, suddenly jumps up and starts barking like a lunatic. The other dogs remain asleep. Eddie is snoring loudly.]

ME: [waking up, groggy] What the…?

BUDDY: Can you hear it? Can you hear it!!?!?!?! It’s there again! BAAAAARK!

ME: The only thing I hear is you, loudmouth. It’s 1:30 in the morning. Shut up and go back to sleep.

BUDDY: No. Can’t. Not while that thing is out there! I don’t know why Eddie and Henry hate you so much, but I’m doing my job, lady — the power of my bark is obviously keeping that thing far, far away. I bet it’s going into some other food lady’s house, where the dogs aren’t as smart as I am, and eating everyone there. Ha! They probably don’t even have a dog — just some 5th column of cats. Traitors. [resumes frantic barking]

ME: Um…OK. I think I know what you’re hearing (that little speech gave me time to listen to something other than you). Bud, that’s a train. You’ve heard trains before. They go by all the time. This one’s not even that loud. Why are you freaking out now, when they’ve never bothered you before?

BUDDY: I don’t care what you call that thing. I only know that it is coming, and it is going to eat us. I didn’t know how dangerous it was before, but now I know. Now I know. [More barking. Always more barking.]

ME: Buddy, it can’t even get here. The tracks are at least a half-mile away, and the train can’t leave them. Your barking isn’t accomplishing anything.

BUDDY: Sure, you say that now, but just wait. I’ll stop barking, and we’ll all wake up dead. You can’t trust those things!

ME: Oookaaay. Time for you to go sleep in your crate. In another room.



About L. M. Bernhardt

For a good long while (15 years or so), I taught philosophy at a little private university in northwest IA, and occasionally branched out into playing music, dabbling in photography, experimenting with food, and writing nonsense on my blog. The philosophy teaching part ended in 2017 (program elimination via prioritization), but never fear! I've just finished my MLIS at San Jose State University, and I'm currently on the market looking for new adventures in either philosophy or LIS. For now, I labor at a fairly interesting administrative job in order to support my dogs in the lavish manner to which they've become accustomed.
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