My Two Cents: Small, noisy dogs bane of my existence

I’d like to talk about something that’s been bothering me for a little while now: the small dog in the apartment down from mine whose job – apparently – is to bark 24 hours a day.

As a general rule, I like dogs – quiet dogs. Or at least dogs that don’t yelp all day, every day.

However, “Barney” – I believe that’s the name I’ve heard the owner use – has been working my last good nerve recently.

Barney’s owner – a nice lady who I believe is employed as a hostess/waitress – works a lot, thus leaving Barney in the apartment by himself for long periods of time.

Clearly, Barney – a small, poodle-like dog – does not like being home alone and he vocalizes his feelings, to put it mildly.

I once left a note on the owner’s door asking her to please quiet her dog down and I’ve spoken with her a few times, but like the Energizer Bunny, Barney just keeps going and going and going.

Whatever else I might feel about Barney’s barking (“Barney’s Barking” would make an excellent name for a rock band, don’t you think?), I have to give it up for the dog’s impressive stamina.

Anyway, even though I’ve become pretty good at tuning out the background noise that is Barney’s incessant barking, I’m thinking about having another talk with the dog’s owner, where I’ll recommend some things to quiet him down: another dog to provide canine companionship (although with my luck that would just result in two talking doggies); an industrial strength muzzle; a super strong tranquilizer.

My apartment complex isn’t the only place where I have to deal with a small barking dog, as my mom and stepdad are the proud owners of two Maltese dogs, a breed characterized by a white coat, a black nose, very dark eyes and – you guessed it – a piercing bark that can make your ears bleed.

(Is it just me, or is it a rule that the smaller the dog, the more high pitched and annoying the bark?)

These two dogs are “people dogs,” which is a nice way of saying they get super excited when they first encounter a human and bark a whole lot. To make matters worse, one of the dogs is deaf, and so doesn’t know how loud she is and doesn’t readily respond to commands to shut up.

Then again, neither does Barney. Believe me, I’ve tried.

“My Two Cents” is a weekly column where the author – who would like to point out that cats tend to be much quieter – gets in his two cents in spite of the saying that you only get a penny for your thoughts.