Terre Pruitt's Blog

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Archive for January 27th, 2011

Neon Sign: This house is Empty

Posted by terrepruitt on January 27, 2011

There are dogs in my neighborhood that bark all the time.  I always think that the people who own the dogs should give the dogs some attention or tell the dogs to be quiet.  It just dawned on me today that they probably aren’t even home.  Then upon further reflection I realized that the dog that barks all day long is advertising that no one is home.  It is like a big neon sign telling people no one is home.

We always had a dog.  I love dogs.  Our dogs were our pets.  They came in the house.  We played with the dogs.  We actually only had one at a time.  We took her camping.  We walked the dog. The dog had a huge house out in the corner of a covered deck.  She always went outside at night.  Every once in a while we would let her stay in, but sometimes even when it was raining she would rather go outside.  It was her job.  She was a guard dog.  When she barked we listened.  When she barked we would go look to see what she was barking at.  When we saw nothing we told her she was a good girl, but that was enough.  She was not allowed just to bark for no reason.  None of our dogs were.

Our neighbors knew that our dogs didn’t just bark.  If the dog was barking our neighbors would investigate if we were not home, because our dogs did not just bark to bark.  So it had me thinking today that if the people are home they are neglecting the dog.  And, if they are not home, which is probably the case, their dog is letting everyone know that no one is home.

Since the dog barks all the time, I would never even think to wonder if something is going on at the house.   It could be that someone is trying to break in the house, but I would never even think of that because the dog doesn’t stop barking . . . so it wouldn’t occur to me.  Even worse the occupants of the house could have fallen and not be able to get up and no one would ever know to check because the dog barking constantly is a normal thing.

There is a dog in our neighborhood that only barks when something is going on.  When that dog barks I grab my phone and go look.  The dog’s owners have trained that dog and trained him well.  I forget he is even there.  One time I was near his property and I was talking to someone and we were there for a few minutes then all of a sudden “WOOF!”  Scared me, because, as I said, I forgot they had a dog.  It was as if he was ok with us being right outside his fence, but after a few minutes he decided to remind us that he was there and we had better move along.  To me, that dog protects that house and is a good watch dog for the entire neighborhood.  He lets his owners and neighbors know if something is going on.  As I said, when that dog barks, I pay attention.  If that dog barked non-stop I would know something was wrong.

The dog that barks all the time though, it could be putting its house and the neighbor’s houses at risk.  I mean if that dog barks because no one is home then it really is like a big flashing neon sign that the house is empty.  Can’t believe I just thought of that today.  Hmmm.

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