The Nothing Barker

Posted by Ryan Jerz on Wednesday August 31, 2005.

Some people can be pretty annoying. In fact, we’ve all seen or heard or talked about these kinds of people so much that it’s become too easy. They are people who talk about nothing. They talk just to hear themselves talk. There are people in the office, people in public places, and even some family members who just talk for the sake of talking. Those people drive me nuts. And I’ve always sort of thought that people who do that do it to mask a defiency they have – like intelligence. People who talk about nothing are not smart people.

Now I have a dog who does just that. He’s a Nothing Barker.

We got Uncle Rico on a Friday, so we had the entire weekend to spend with him at home. The excitement of having a dog led to us spending all of our time with him, just to get him used to our place. But when Monday rolled around, we knew we had to leave him alone in the backyard while we were all away. So the first couple of days we would leave by the garage, which is detached from our house and leads to an alley, and he would wait by the garage door for us to return. I knew this because I came home and parked in the front, so I could get into the house without detection and see what he was doing.

rico walking in the back yard Well, one day I came home in the middle of the day to pick something up and decided I would sneak up the side yard to check on him. There I saw him sleeping in the spot he usually waits for us. That was cool, because I had figured he just sat at attention all day waiting for our return. But I needed to test his skills as a real dog, so I whistled to get his attention. He popped up and started looking around for me. Finally, I left my post behing a wooden fence to enter the house. He heard movement and started barking. Cool, I thought. This was the first time I had heard him bark, ever. he didn’t do it when he was in his cage at the Humane Society. He didn’t do it to us at all. So I was excited to actually hear him bark. So, I went around to the other side of the house and another wooden gate to see if he was desperately trying to attack the fence I had been behind. I figured he was so ferocious to intruders he might have escaped by that point.

Nope. He was standing on our deck, near the backdoor. He was looking upward, at the sky, and barking. Not a ferocious attack bark, but a “listen to me, I’m barking” kind of bark. It sounded like a dumb dog who just barks for the sake of barking. A Nothing Barker. A woof about every 2 or 3 seconds, slow, low, and pointless. Rico was standing there barking just to hear himself bark. I told Christy that day that I had gained quite a bit of insight as to the intelligence of our new dog. And it wasn’t good.

Ryan JerzRyan Jerz is an all-around good guy who wants people to eventually refer to him as "that dude who climbs mountains."

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