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?
- 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