So a couple of weeks ago my downstairs neighbor’s dog began barking. Incessantly. Then, it began alternating between yapping and howling the most pitiful, lonely wolf howl you have ever heard in your life.
That went on and on, hours at a stretch, for days. And days. And days.
To make matters worse, the dog was confined to one room, which happens to be right below my office. On top of that, my dog Spazzy was very upset about the whole thing, so she took to pacing the room and giving me a look that clearly said, well aren’t you going to do something?? So I did. I grabbed my laptop and moved to the living room. The only problem was that I could still hear the dog.
I am, in case you didn’t know, an animal person. I can’t walk into a pet store if they sell animals because it makes me want to cry to see them in cages. It’s too darned sad. So the sound of Los Lonely Pup downstairs upset me as much as it did Spazzy, plus it was making it hard to get any work done. Finally I decided to talk to my neighbors about their little yapper. I also had what I hoped would be a solution.
When we first got Spazzy from the pound, it was pure hell. She wasn’t house trained, gnawed on anything she could get her mouth around, and had horrible separation anxiety. She just would not shut the fuck up while we were gone, which I know because our neighbor across they way told us so. After a great deal of time and money was spent on dog walkers and doggy daycare and whatnot, we finally found a trainer that gave us some very good and practical advice. One of the things she suggested was a KONG toy, which is basically a cone shaped piece of rubber that’s hollow. You fill it with treats and it keeps them busy forever while they try to get the food. It was a miracle, and kept Spazzy quiet for long periods of time.
So I dug the toy out of a cabinet, washed it, and went downstairs to offer it to my neighbors. When she opened the door, I said hello and blah blah blah, and then I very nicely told her that her dog was pitching a fit. Her response was, “Pitching a fit? What does that mean?”
Side note – Is that a Texas thing? I asked my husband if people say pitching a fit (okay, I say pitchin’, G’s are silent to me, m’kay?) in California too, or if it’s a Tex-ism. He swears it’s a common phrase, but it’s possible he’s been with me so long it just sounds normal to him. *shrug*
Anyway, I explained about the howling and barking, and right about that time Spazzy started pitching a world class fit. I am talking a doggy temper tantrum of epic proportions. Awesome. So I hold up the rubber toy, and tell my neighbor about how fantastic it is, and keeps dogs busy and quiet, and perhaps she’d like to give it a try and see if it helps her pup? All the while Spazzy is barking her little head off upstairs, and let me tell you, the yip yapping of a min-pin is one of the most annoying sounds on the planet. You should have seen the look on my neighbor’s face. She did take the toy, but with an expression that clearly said I probably needed it more than her.