What Are You Barking At?


There was a cute little post on Facebook® showing a German Shepherd looking out a window with the caption referring to the dog saving the family from 6 UPS drivers, a number of girl scouts and a ‘sketchy’ looking plastic bag. It made me laugh because the scenario is so commonplace in a house with a dog.  I, along with almost every dog guardian, have peered out the window at nothing and told our beloved, ‘There’s nothing out there! Hush!’; a normal daily occurrence, like the midnight potty call that produces nothing other than a look around the yard and a cooling of our bed or our companion displaying our underwear from the dirty laundry during a dinner party.


Except for the fact that I have two legs as opposed to four, I could conceivably be one of those dogs barking out the window at ‘nothing’ since I have been blessed with the ability to sometimes see things that others cannot. So it makes me consider Dog. Is there nothing there? Or is there in fact something?


In the above scenario we can agree that dogs can hear a bazillion times better than us humans (I am not prone to exaggeration at all) and the window-peeping dog could have conceivably been barking at a sound we could not hear. We have to give them that. They do see better in the dark than we do, which doesn’t explain the daylight alarm extravaganza, but we could have missed something with our inferior sight. How about smelling through that plate glass window? I am not going very far out on a limb by saying, yeah, they can probably smell something out there. Anybody that can smell a drop in blood sugar levels of their guardian probably is not having an issue with a glass window.


If we concur that after all these things have been checked off, Dog still insists there is definitely something afoot out beyond the house, it leaves two possibilities. Dog see or senses something you do not or he has gone off his noodle.


I will put real money on Dog sensing that something not quite right is going on out among the borders of his/her territory which you or I have no knowledge of.


In my life with the kids (dogs) I did find a remedy, albeit not always successful (approximate success rate 70%). I would join them at said window and whisper in their ear, ‘Oh, I see! Good job but we don’t have to be concerned with it,’ or something similar to let them know I understood they saw or sensed a threat I did not (and that they could hush, hopefully). Most of the time they did stop alarming. I swear.


All I am saying is that some of us see things you may not; it doesn’t mean it is not there. So next time we are having pizza and I start barking out the window – I mean yelling I see something- just whisper something positive in my ear and hopefully I’ll go back to eating pizza. But maybe not.


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