If I get up at night to go to the bathroom, he sort of melts off the bed, with an awful thud-slump. He'll then stagger along behind me, head nodding pitifully as he watches to make certain he doesn't miss whatever service he believes he's there to provide.
He's the most dedicated of my staff. The cats regularly call in sick or show up late, if at all. They have attitude. Are total slackers. If I turn my back for a second, they're dunking my cereal or tasting my coffee or editing (via placement of their body) whatever newspaper articles they don't want me to read.
So really, in spite of my irritation with my neighbor's barking dog, I also have compassion for their situation. I know what it's like to live with a neurotic animal.
After three hours of listening to that every-eight-seconds bark, I stomped out to my car, determined to track down the dog. What I didn't consider was that my ancient station wagon made so much noise it was impossible to hear barking, even a dog set up with a microphone and amplifier like I'm pretty sure this one had.
I don't know what I would've done if I'd found it, but it caused me to remember a joke about a blonde and her husband who'd been lying in bed, listening to the neighbor's dog barking. The blonde finally gets up and says, "I've had enough!"
When she finally returns to bed, her husband says, "That dog is still barking. What were you doing?"
And the blonde says, "I put it in our backyard. Let's see how they like it."
Reach Karin Fuller via email at karinful...@gmail.com.