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There are three reasons why Charlie barks.
The first is when he perches on the couch staring out the front window and sees people walking or cars driving around the neighborhood. It's a tough act he tries to put on. You know, that whole alpha-male ego, even though he's the biggest (little) whimp ever. (I say that with much love, by the way.)
The second is when someone's at the door, and only the front door. I think it has something to do with the door bell, because when it rings, he flips out and races to get to the door first, and even tripped a few times doing so. I chuckle in silence whenever this happens. Ha.
And then there's the third, which is when he wants to go into my work space and hang out with me. He stands at the gate and barks and barks and barks until I give in. Sometimes I don't because it's hard to trust the little fella after this happened.
But after last week, I think there's now a fourth reason why Charlie barks.
Last week, I came home from a typical work day. After eating dinner, I was in my zone, doing my own thing, catching up on Me time. (Okay, so Me time consists of me and the TV, but whatever.) Then up the stairs comes Charlie. And what does he do? That's right. He starts barking. It wasn't loud or rude, but it was very eager and impatient. I was too fixated on the black box at the time, so I didn't even bother to turn around. During commercials, I finally decided to give him a piece of my mind. I barked back. That's right, in the same manner he did, I barked back. And that's when the battle began.
Charlie wasn't having it that night, so he throws it back at me, rougher and louder. I certainly wasn't going to let him take me, so back to him it went. Neither one of us wanted to put up our white flag. And let me just tell you that it was quite a battle of the barks that night. It got ugly. I'm talking about spritz of spit coming out of my mouth from barking so loud, ugly, while Charlie's rapid pacing looked like he was going to scratch me up to pieces, if only he could figure out how to get over the gate. Yup, it was the most intense argument I've ever had with a half-foot tall dog.
My dad, while watching TV in the downstairs family room, finally had to intervene to break us up. I think our barks were disturbing his Me time with the TV. I understood his pain, so I decided to be the bigger man and stop the madness. Not that I was scared or anything...especially with that gate between us. Commercials were ending and my show was coming back on. Just saying.