Wednesday, April 30, 2008

Worst Case Scenario

So, lately, my dog Sweetpea has taken to barking a lot at night. A lot. A lot lot. And it's very annoying. At our old house we could go outside and tell her to "HUSH!" and she would. Now, not so much. Now you can tell her to hush and she will. Until she hears the next little sound and then she's off again. She doesn't even know what she's barking at. She's just barking.

While we're up it's not too big of a deal. But at night. Good grief. She barks and barks and barks and barks. Thank God we don't' really have any neighbors to speak of or I'm sure we'd be on their you-know-what list.

Occasionally I get up to tell her to hush, but honestly? Most of the time? I don't know what she's barking at either. It might be a coyote. It might be raccoon. It might be a crazed serial killer (out for a pleasure cruise at night, in eel infested waters) who has wandered through the woods and found our house sitting out here in the dark and lonely woods, miles from help.

Yeah, that's how my mind works.

It doesn't help matters that one of my favorite stories as a child was about Little Dog Turpy. See, Little Dog Turpy lived with a little old man and a little old woman. And every night he would bark and bark and bark and every night, the little old man would go out and cut off a piece of Little Dog Turpy in an effort to get him to stop barking until one night, there's nothing left of Little Dog Turpy. And that's when the Hobyahs come in and steal the old man's wife. They carry her off in a sack singing:

Hobyahs Hobyahs we can brag.
The little old woman is in our bag.
We're as proud as we can be.
Forever more our cook she'll be.

They've been coming up to the house every night, but every night Little Dog Turpy's barking kept them away. Eventually, the little old man puts Little Dog Turpy back together again, but really, hasn't the damage already been done? If I were the wife and Little Dog Turpy, I'd be heading out.

I've pretty much always been a worrier. Once, when I was pregnant with Bubba and Mr. Daddy was still managing a Starbucks, we got a call in the middle of the night from the alarm company -- the alarm was going off at Starbucks. At that time (and this might still be the policy -- I have no idea), managers were required to go to the store and see why the alarm was going off. Usually it was something small, the alarm could be reset and Mr. Daddy would be back within a half hour.

But not that night. An hour passed. Then another half hour. I started thinking the worst. The robbers had lain in wait for Mr. Daddy, tripping the alarm just so he would come and then they would rob him and force him to open the safe. I was tempted to call the store, but then they would know that someone was wise to their plan. Maybe they would kill Mr. Daddy to cover their tracks!

While I dithered -- swinging wildly from "Oh my God he's lying there dead" to "Surely there's some kind of rational explanation" -- I was also planning the lawsuit I was going to file against Starbucks for requiring that their managers check on alarms, leaving my unborn child fatherless!! My rich poor fatherless child!Sob!

Finally, I called the police non-emergency number and asked if the patrol officer on duty could drive by the store and check on Mr. Daddy. And if he was alive, to please call home. About five minutes later Mr. Daddy called. Someone had thrown a brick through one of the windows and Mr. Daddy was having to wait on the glass company. He had assumed I had gone back to sleep.

Yeah, riiiight.

So. You see. It's important for me to let Sweetpea bark. You just never know what's out there.


1blueshi1 said...

yah grrl, gots to keep dos Hobyahs away! And The Sleep, too...

Karen said...

I hate barking dogs. We've got 6 of them outside. Last night it was non-stop and I threatened to go out in my skivvies and muzzle every last one of them. Turns out the ponies had been out all night stuffing themselves on spring grass. Good dogs, bad mom.

AndreAnna said...

That is the most terrifying story, like ever! I'd have pissed my pants as a kid. He cut up the dog? Then strange people came and stole his wife? Good lord woman, what did your family tell you? LOL

I'm a worrier too. I think it's biological.

Amanda said...

You're a hoot! I'm going to look for that book. That is too much! No Hobyahs would want me as their cook for ever more. Unless they want spaghetti or grilled cheese night after night.

I feel like I haven't been to visit your blog in so long! I've got some catching up to do! :)

ImpostorMom said...

That is the scariest story I've ever heard to be telling a kid, good grief. Our dogs bark when something is out there but it's usually a deer. They live inside though so every little noise doesn't catch their attention. I'm sure the barking will slow down once sweetpea gets used to being out in the country.

And I totally get the worrying thing. My husband used to work 3rd shift and I would literally sleep with the phone in my hand just in case someone broke in to our shitty little apartment.

I even contemplated getting a gun at one point but a wise friend asked me to answer a question without thinking about it. He said "Could you shoot someone if you had to?" I immediately said "No." That was my answer, if I was really unwilling to use a gun, then it would just be something for someone else to use against me. We got a dog instead.

Burgh Baby's Mom said...

There was a dog that barks at every little thing at our house on Saturday and honestly, I wanted to drop it off our second story deck. And then run it over with our SUV. And then take a hammer to it's poor, lifeless body.

It's really a good thing our dogs pretty much only bark when there is somebody in the yard or when there's a seriously mysterious noise.

Laurel said...

Here's the thing. My dog woke me up 45 minutes early today with his barking--and my son too. BUT on the night our garage was actually robbed? Not a peep. Damn dog.

Queen Mother said...

Just ask any kid...a Haiku in defense of scary stories:

Story Time

Who likes being scared?
The chills…the quickening heart…?
Every hand went up.

Tootsie Farklepants said...

Holy Hell! Who read that book to you? Now I'm going to have nightmares.

Colleen said...

Especially if Sweetpea is barking at Screaming Eels! At least between the barking and eel screaming, you'd know what was about to feast on your flesh.

Certainly better than that awful story! Holy crap, lady! I'm going to have nightmares, too!

Fannie Mae said...

Geez, the Terrorist drives me CRAZY, but I wouldn't resort to cutting her up into pieces!