It takes a lot of courage to release the familiar and seemingly secure, to embrace the new.
But there is no real security in what is no longer meaningful.
There is more security in the adventurous and exciting, for in movement there is life, and in change there is power.
Alan Cohen
"Outside of a dog, a book is a man's best friend.
Inside of a dog, it's too dark to read."
Groucho Marx
The doors we open and close each day decide the lives we live.

Sunday, July 4, 2010

Just a little Peace and Quiet...

Can you Hear Me Now ?

I read the Sunday New York Times online, every Sunday.
Some habits die hard and some are held on to , this is mine. OK, one of mine. My fond memories always include a Sunday reading the Times with coffee, husband and at various stages in life, children , cats and dogs nearby.
These days it is the husband and the dog nearby .. at least the husband and our dog .. this is about those Other dogs.

I know when you live in the US, people complain about a lot of Things. Some of them ridiculous , some from various senses of entitlement, irritation, cranky old fart syndrome and then there are the people who just want to have a moment of peace and quiet in an otherwise noisy , hectic world.
Is that too much to ask for ??
I think not.

If you live out in the country, where you can hear a bird hiccup, you will probably be more attuned to the sounds of your world and notice that sound that is out of place .. say, a car engine or maybe gun shots or people yelling.If you live in a suburb, you are accustomed to children playing sounds, car sounds , dogs barking.
If you live in the city, you are more accustomed to the sounds of cars, people, dogs, planes, trains, dogs, buses, music, horns, dogs.
Did I mention dogs?

I lived in NYC , we had a puppy. She was a Borzoi. (Russian Wolfhound) .. the sweetest most gentle of dogs, as a baby she was the size of a lamb.
She quickly grew to the size of a small pony but always had that gentle lamb-ness to her personality. She never barked. She would look curious, alert , but would never bark.
I never remember hearing her bark. It was especially fun when she would go to the door and just stand there, we knew someone would knock at any moment.
When we opened the door, they always stepped back in shock, she was almost eye to eye with them.
A sweet doe eyed girl.This is exactly what she looked like and what she liked to do best ...

I had a little cat that came with me from California. A tiny thing, happy to just be a little cat and sleep all day on the pillows. Causing us to wake in the mornings picking hair out of our mouth, sneezing from inhaling it all night and remarking how lucky we were, not to be allergic to cats.

She was very playful.
We went out one night, dinner with friends, she stayed behind sleeping.
When we came home, our neighbor downstairs had a complaint...
That cat ran around all night making noise !
We were dumbfounded ! She was sleeping sweetly on the pillows when we came in.
So we watched and waited and discovered that while we were gone, in her periods between naps, her favorite plaything was a pencil. She would bat it around, play soccer like the best of them and run all over the bare wood floors with her pencil/toy.
Making that little sound that drove the neighbor crazy.
We moved eventually, not because of the cat but the horse, err, dog needed a bigger home.

Now, all these years later , children born, grown up and gone to their own homes, we live in an apartment in a city with a dog.
A large dog. He has a big dog voice. A really big dog voice.He never barks.
He will talk to you though, he gets worried sometimes when he hears something odd, he will whine quietly. If he sees his friends the horses outside, he will warble. I cannot describe it in any way but warbling... if he were a singing dog, I would say he was yodeling .
The lady upstairs has an ancient spaniel who only barks when the doorbell rings.
Lucky for us, the lady is elderly and they don't get a lot of company..lucky for the spaniel too, I am not sure how much excitement that old dog can take.

So in the building, we are the dog owners and our dogs are quiet.
It is outside the building where the problem lies...

Buenos Aires has dog walkers.

People who come to your door, pick up your dog and take it to the park.
From what I have seen, they mostly tie the dogs to trees or poles in the park and let them sit there and bark for an hour or two while the "walker" naps or goes to visit friends... I dislike dog walkers.. I do not find them a safe solution for people who have a dog but don't have the time or ability to walk it.
Once in a while, a walker will tie 5 or 6 dogs to the lamp post across the street while they go somewhere and do something, all the while, the dogs will bark.
Some lie on the sidewalk and just wait, causing people to have to go around them, being careful.. some dogs lie on the edge of the sidewalk along the curb, making me and others nervous about taxis or other vehicles hitting the dog.
In terrible summer heat or winter cold, some dog walker will leave dogs out in the heat or cold for hours while they go relax somewhere cool or warm and dry.

And we , the people who live in the city, get to listen to the dogs bark.
Some people walk down the street with their dogs , the dog is barking as it walks.
I want to recommend a good Dog Psychiatrist ..that dog needs help ... and so does the owner.

So I know just how the lady who wrote the article in the Times feels... we need our little bubble of quiet around us, wherever we live , however we live.
So remember this when you let the dog out in the yard and you tune out the familiar sound of his barking when he wants to come in ... your neighbors are listening too.

I will spare you my thoughts and opinions on People who Don't Pick up After their Dogs ..
image-tails magazine


  1. I could not agree with you more. I found the dogwalkers entertaining as they walked, but inattentive to the job at hand. Dogs deserve better.

  2. There is supposed to be a rule about only so many dogs but I doubt it is ever enforced.
    The best dog walker is a man with 3 Golden Retrievers and his own Visla who runs ahead..always stopping at the corner to cross with everyone else.. I guess I would let him walk Pup ... if I ever absolutely had to let a stranger take him out .. which I really never ever intend to do...


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