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Most people who have dogs shouldn't.

I left a note at my neighbor's door:

"Hi

Lately your dog has been spending whole days again barking her displeasure. I understand that she's unhappy being alone, so I don't blame her, but it creates a stressful environment in the local neighborhood.

Thanks,
Steve"

• The woman wrote back, on the same small sheet of paper:

"I don't understand how that's possible since I am home most days. Yes, she will bark when people walk by! Sorry"

I didn't write that the dog barks every day. I said that it barks "whole days."

It's okay to have poor logical skills - that's fairly normal. Unfortunately this type of lack of awareness also makes a person think that their dog is happy because that's what they see.

A dog is happy when its person is there.

I see her with her chin on the back of the couch, staring into nothing out the window despondent. Sometimes when I walk past she'll jump and get her toy and shake it, in a moment of joy. Sometimes she won't, slumped in torpor. She has nothing to do all day; no ambitions, no projects — no satisfaction when her human is not with her.

I'm responsible for part of her unhappiness. Sometime last spring or summer the little boxer was yelping at every movement on the street when her owner wasn't home and the window was open. It was audible indoors, impossible to tolerate, and I didn't do the wrong thing. But the sweetheart of a dog is probably even further dissatisfied because I had to say something. Nobody else would, of course. And the sound of her distressed cries was truly unbearable.

The owner promised to get a bark collar. Sadie quit barking, after that weekend.

And I did it again, a couple of weeks ago. Apparently the bark collar was off. Sadie was yelping out the window constantly, at anything or nothing — and probably enjoying the chance to express her feelings. But she was making shit of the atmosphere in the neighborhood. Well, okay - for me. Maybe people really don't mind. I don't know. I couldn't take it.

That means that this dog's unfortunate circumstance is even worse because of me. I don't regret what I did. But I don't like it.

Most people who can afford a dog shouldn't have one.


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