Sr. Wantabee came home this evening to a letter from the City that her dog barked and disturbed a neighbor. Last year her beautiful husky/malmut dog slipped out the gate which sprang back when Sr. Wantabee brought in the groceries and had a night running in the nearby cemetary. A neighbor down the block saw it and reported it. The dog never hurt anyone but it was guilty of being on the city’s grass. Sr. Wantabee was guilty of negligence. The dog had to be put down or Sr. Wantabee had to agreed to lock it in a box, hide it from people, and muzzle the beast. The dog was nine years old so the freedom of death was given it. She believes it is roaming free and happy in the next life. Last month her son asked her to babysit his great dane/boxer mix with the assurance that it never barked. The beast has been a wonderful comfort but, sigh, it does bark and now has been reported. It has offended the ears of a neighbor. Noise.
Sr. Wantabee remembered Robert Frost’s question, What is it that does not like a wall? and thought, what is that is offended by the bark of a dog, a dog doing what dogs do. In an inner city neighbor hood with thieves and shootings, the presence of a large dog that woofs, enunciating the “f” rather than yap, yap, yaps, seems to be a comforting sound to Sr. Wantabee. But to someone else it is offensive. How does one make a dog not bark? Lock it in a basement? Is that humane?
We live in a funny world where do not want dogs to bark but to protect us. We want lights to shine at night to make us think it is daytime and then expect to not be tired. We want good food to be available quickly and for only a dollar. We want our straight hair curly and our curly hair straight or we want no hair where the good Lord put it. We travel faster than sound. Maybe like our airplanes, we are getting ahead of ourselves and will meet ourselves coming. In the meantime, Sr. Wantabee will be puzzling on how to make a dog not bark, how to conquer the noise frontier.