Silas distresses me by barking. I guess, in my mind, the “perfect dog” never barks, unless Timmy is down the well or something.
In reality, we live in a townhouse, and I just hate to be that person with the loud dog. My neighbor’s Gordon Setter feels that she must protect the front sidewalk from intruders. The Gordon Setter never barks indoors, though, and Silas does. We keep all the windows covered, but Silas has very sharp hearing. Three of four times a day, especially in the evening, he gets quite upset over, say, someone coming in the gate and walking down the sidewalk. And forget it if the UPS man comes, or the mail lady. (The sweet mail lady is terrified of Silas–I open the door a tiny crack, and she says, “I’m just gonna lay this down right here. Now don’t you open the door ’til I’m gone.”)
His other noises are hilarious, though. Sometimes he snores. He used to howl at his squeaky pig, and we would laugh and laugh and laugh.
He hasn’t howled since we got him neutered, but that’s also about the time that we hid the squeaky pig.
Which brings us to my least favorite dog noise: squeaky toys. Squeaky pig was egregiously loud. I test all the toys in-store for volume, but piggie was a gift from a nearly-deaf relative. You would think that a dog who can hear a quiet gate close 25 feet from our well-insulated house would be bothered by a toy that makes humans wish for ear plugs. Instead, he adored it. He would follow my husband around the house, nudging his leg and squeaking the pig. After a few months of this, we hid the pig. The plan was to let him have it from time to time, but the silence was just too blissful. In fact, every time I go to buy Silas a new toy, I struggle to come up with any that don’t squeak. Even balls squeak. Silas’s favorite squeaker-free toy (I think I’ve complained about this before) was “improved” to have a squeaker added. I’ve taken to buying the Kong toys with the “replaceable” squeakers, and just removing them.
What’s a peace-and-quiet loving person to do? How much does your dog bark? Have you given in to the tyranny of squeakies?