Hair of the Dog

Thursday, October 12 2006

Across the street from my home there’s a house where the yard backs up to the street (normally houses tend to face the streets on both sides, but not this one).

Living at the house is a yippy dog and the yippy dog’s owner. I’m not sure what kind of dog it is, but it’s very excitable. It’ll explode into barking and frantic dog like behavior at the slightest sort of noise – cars passing by, people walking, leaves blowing, eyes blinking. It’s the most annoying kind of behavior a dog can exhibit aside from leg humping, which I’d bet it probably does a lot of.

The owner of this dog is huge. I say this not to be rude – I have no bigotry towards huge people (nor for little people, nor medium people), but her hugeness factors into the dog’s behavior. The huge owner of this yappy dog sits in a chair in the yard and screams and yells at the dog when the dog barks at anything (her own volume louder and more annoying than the dog), rather than get up and strangle it. While part of me is tickled that, if even just indirectly, a huge woman screams and yells at the sound of grass growing, it gets old fast.

To me it’s obvious that the dog explodes into barking fits because of the woman launching into screams of “Tiger NO! Tiger come here! Tiger bad dog!”. Tiger thinks he’s doing a good job of defending his yard – it must be so because at the sign of any threat the boss dog barks and froths just like Tiger. Eventually Tiger finishes what he believes to be his purpose for living and the owner congratulates him for his work, Tiger not knowing that she’s delighted that he’s stopped yapping (and the owner not knowing that he stopped just so he could be congratulated).

One of the owner’s trademark noises while foaming at the mouth can only be described by instruction. The way it works is this: scream and yell for a moment to work up your froth and to get into the spirit of things, then exhale as deeply as you can, and when you’re nearly passed out, gasp as dramatically as you can. This is the noise that motivates me to write about my neighbor with such poison. I don’t even feel guilty hoping that the dog might get caught in the vortex while going to be congratulated, taking both dog and owner out in one silent event.

Hell hath no fury like an easily distracted programmer with his office windows open annoyed by a pack of yappy dogs while trying desperately to get back into flow.