Just Because My Dog is Barking Doesn’t Mean I Know You Are At the Door

sleeping dog
Don’t be fooled, this seemingly sound asleep dog can become a barking maniac in seconds.

Visitors don’t always ring our doorbell. When Pettigrew starts barking, they assume we’ve been notified of their arrival.

If I’m expecting someone, I’ve learned to check when I hear the barking, but only if I’m expecting someone. Pettigrew is an indiscriminate barker.

From the safety of our house he barks at

  • The mail carrier. He starts when she’s on the other side of the street. My neighbor shared that thanks to Pettigrew, he always has plenty of warning to get any letters together to put out for her.
  • Delivery people of any kind. They don’t have to be coming to our house. As long as he can see them, he barks.
  • Trucks with a load that rattles as they drive by.
  • The USPS truck. He has learned the distinctive sound of that vehicle’s muffler and, before it is in sight, starts barking at the first rumble. Am I the only one who regrets that USPS now delivers packages on Sundays? It used to be a quieter day.
  • Sirens. We live between a hospital and fire station. Need I say more?
  • Scooters.
  • Motorcycles.
  • Dogs (visible, walking on either side of the street).
  • Dogs (invisible, but we can hear them).

Over the phone, his bark is loud and clear. There’s no point in our trying to pretend we are at the office when on a work-related call; Pettigrew makes his presence known. We used to believe if he was sound asleep on the sofa, it was safe. He disabused us of this notion, going from deep slumber to full-on protector in seconds.

Talking a long-distance friend through a difficult situation? Pettigrew interrupts at the crucial moment. Do you ask your friend to repeat what was clearly so hard to say the first time?

While on the phone, I often find that I’ve retreated outside, to the basement, or am crouched on the floor on the far side of my bed with the door closed, all to escape the bark that drowns out all other sounds.

And to think, he was silent for the first six weeks he lived with us. We were even afraid his vocal cords were damaged!

Note: For Pettigrew’s take on barking see It’s My Turn #4: In Which Pettigrew Takes Umbrage at his Recent Treatment & Clarifies the Need for Barking

8 thoughts on “Just Because My Dog is Barking Doesn’t Mean I Know You Are At the Door

  1. “crouched on the floor on the other side of my bed with the door closed.” Oh no! At least it’s all with good intentions.


  2. I know right?! And of course I am completely unaware that I am doing this. I’m just trying to get far away from the barking so I can hear the person on the phone and then I look around and see what a ridiculous position I’m in!


  3. So true! And my pupper has tall, pointy ears that are nearly always at attention. I’m fairly confident he’s using one to track North Korean nuclear chatter, and the other to ensure he is always aware of butterflies and hummingbirds in the neighborhood (which of course must be barked at to ensure community safety).

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I know. It’s so good that they are taking their responsibilities seriously. My dog is most concerned about squirrels, other dogs, and of course, the mail carrier.


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