Friday, April 15, 2016

How to Stop a Barking Dog


            Okay, so here’s the deal.
The couple next door had the marvelous idea of buying one of those mean dogs. It has the flabby mouth of an in-law, an ugly grey color and a side of never-ending barking to sweeten the deal. I would have been happy with a herd of elephants, or maybe a boring cat. But no, they had to ask Satan for a demon dog.
                Not that the couple is any better. They make the day after work pretty eventful (read: painful).  They sometimes blast weird rock and roll crap at night and yell at each other like toddlers without animal crackers. Oh, and use language only a trash can could love. Yup. If that’s not a G-rated atmosphere, I don’t know what is.
                None of that mattered to me though, I swear! In a small little apartment with only enough money left over to kill your taste buds with instant noodles and soda, you learn to suck up every bad thing thrown at you. Broken air conditioner. Busted bike. Bad neighbors. Now, the only thing completely tipping the scale for me is the stupid mutt. I thought night was for sleeping but demon dog thinks it’s for driving me into a fetal position with a pillow over my head.
Man, I can never win at life.
I think I’m going to bed. I’d like to stay up and chat, believe me, but I’m just too tired.


So it’s five in the afternoon from where I left off last night. A long day and a bike ride to my apartment later, the dog’s still barking.
I know what you’re thinking. I’m dumb for putting up with all of this.
I don’t blame you, I totally get it. But I’ve tried everything, believe me. Food. Yelling.  Loud noises. Spray bottle with water. I even bought a dog whistle. That’s a lot of devotion for a college kid. I could have used that money for pencils. Or soda. Or more noodles.
No ringing the cops either. My name coming up for something like a doggy complaint is the last thing I want. I’m not exactly in good terms with them.
Don’t ask.
So I’m out of options. If I had wanted a child from hell, I would have adopted a dog too. But there’s a reason I haven’t. And the reason is next door. And the reason is also through the hours of searching by internet only for it to spit out “Have you tried a steak?”
Wait. The neighbors started yelling. I guess they find the dog’s woofing cute and they’re singing along—
Was that a frying pan? I looked outside my window just now and I think these next-door morons just threw a frying pan at him. I can’t believe it!
I mean, I give credit where credit’s due. It sure shut him up. But he started barking again. Only more high-pitched and whiny. So much for that.
Ah well. At least it delayed my foreseeable deafness for about five seconds. Better than nothing.
See? I told you I can’t win at life.


                Gravity works. There’s a ceiling above my head. And yeah, I can barely sleep. Things go on like they always do.  
                Couldn’t they have just bought a pet rock or something? I just looked at my clock and it’s around two in the morning. I should probably mention I have earplugs on. And the noise machine can’t tune out the barking with river sounds. And the windows and doors are completely shut. I even have a towel lining the bottom of my door but that’s not working either.
                Okay, that’s it! I have to do something about it.
Hey, no biggie. I’ve been dealing with this for about a month now. I’m a grown man. I can handle it. I just need to go try something before I sleep. Hold on.

                Okay, I’m back. Can’t hear anything now. Now, should I enjoy it awake or asleep? I bet you can guess which one I’m choosing.


Guys, I can’t believe it! I just woke up and I don’t want to jump off a cliff first thing in the morning. Why? Because there’s no barking. None. My idea worked!
I can totally get used to this.
My ears are not bleeding from noise. I don’t feel like crying into my morning cup of instant noodles. I feel great! Weird, huh?
                I always wake up pretty early, but that never stopped demon dog from barking it up in the AM, like always. I didn’t even know birds existed but now I can hear them. I used to think birds singing was just a myth.
I just went to go check things out the neighbor’s yard to see what’s up. Even looking over the wall between us, nothing seemed too different from the last time. I was still able to see the brick I threw over the wall before going to sleep. I spotted the dog’s motionless figure next to his dog house.  Small rivulets of blood stained the dirt around its head. Things were exactly the same as last night.  
For the first time in the past month, I caught myself smiling.
It’s nice to be a winner for once.

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