Saturday, November 23, 2019

It Barks!

It’s been a cloudy and cool day, but a long stretch of decent weather is due to begin tomorrow.
A nice development is Ethel’s newfound inclination to curl up beside me when I watch television or read. And both Fred and Ethel now hop on their feeding table, howl, and when I come to see what he or she wants, will jump down and run into my bedroom and onto the bed. It’s where they like to play Kill the Finger;  I move my finger under the comforter and they chase it and pounce.  
It’s a game that melts into patting, massage and affection—silent affection—and deep, deep purring. It has to be silent because if I talk to them, Sheba comes in and breaks up the love fest. She is jealousy on four legs.
The barking penis.

Sheba is also one of those dogs that put their noses in your crotch. I have no idea why, except I reward the behavior by scratching or patting her as I step back. She does it to everyone, as do many dogs.
Recently, she started doing it from the back whenever I fuss over other dogs on the community dog walks. As I bend over to pat a dog, Sheba’s long nose protrudes from behind between my legs.
When François was here last week—he and his partner have two Whippets—he made a noise as he blew air through his pursed lips. He both vocalized a low tone and made a buzzing sound with his lips—like he was a kazoo, and Sheba bolted away, almost like she was allergic to the noise.
“I use it to get my dogs away from me. It seems to mildly irritate them,” he said.
So … when Sheba poked her nose through my legs this morning when my dog walking group convened, making everyone laugh, I made the kazoo noise up but she didn’t move. She barked once, paused, and then barked once again, all the while keeping her head between my legs.
Fifteen minutes later, when Doug joined us as he often does at a fork in the trail, Regina said: “Chris, show Doug your barking penis trick.” 
I’m going to be famous.

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