Thursday, March 27, 2008

good dog

this morning, i let marley out to do his thing in the backyard while rick was showering. after a couple of minutes, i heard him barking. he has different barks; those of you who are dog owners can surely relate.

he has a bark that says "hello friend" from the front window of our house when a certain dog walks by every afternoon around 4:30 or 5.

he has a bark that says "i don't think i would like you if we met" when he sees a german shepherd walk by our house around 5:30 or 6 every day with her owner.

he has a bark that says "i want to play NOW dad!" when he is restless and bored cooped up inside the house.

he has a bark that says "please can i have that treat? i'm such a good dog!" when he is trying to get what he wants.

he has a very soft bark that says "ouch" or "hello" when he is trying to speak to the kids.

and he has a big, cadenced, nonstop bark that says "you are an intruder in my yard, but i don't know what you are and i'm scared right now but trying to act like i'm not" when he encounters a strange animal in our backyard.

i have heard him use this bark before when he runs into black snakes we have living in our yard (we love these guys because in theory they are supposed to keep the rats away--yes, we live in florida; it's a jungle around here!). and this morning, i heard him use it again.

i wasn't that alarmed at first, because i thought he had just run into another snake. he's too scared to actually approach the snake, and for a week after he runs into one, he literally tip-toes around the yard while trying to find the perfect spot to relieve himself. wet grass scares him. lizards scare him. tree branches scare him.

this morning, however, when i bothered to go out on the back deck to see what he was barking at so madly, i saw him, face to face with an opossum. YIKES! it didn't help my fear factor that our dog does not listen to me; rick is his master, and he ignores everyone else unless we are feeding him or scratching his belly.

i proceeded to yell "come marley" over and over anyway. the opossum looked at me, and he looked at marley, and he just hung out there. totally unphased by marley's barking. and i thought marley was getting a little too close for being such a scaredy-cat. i wondered if it was because he actually thought, "hey maybe we can be friends and play, but i'm not really sure yet, so i'll just keep barking till i figure it out!"

within 30 seconds or so rick came out and got marley inside; it seemed like 2 minutes at least though. i was so afraid that the opossum would attack marley. so glad we got out of that encounter unscathed.

good dog, marley.


Warren said...

Maybe I should have MArley come make friends with the opposum living in our attic. :)

Penny said...

Aww, Marley is so cute!! I miss having puppies!

asti said...

I had to google opossum ! Gather they can be a bit nasty when cornered.....and SNAKES in the yard....what!!!! I don't actually mind snakes ( it's spiders that freak me out) but still.......we obviously lead a very sheltered life here in the UK , thank goodness ;)
Marley is one gorgeous, cuddly doggy by the way...

Karin Hernandez said...

I love that Marley and wish I had a little more of him in my life!

Amelia Plum said...

Marley looks like the perfect dog for a family with kids. I have to concur with Asti's comment, I was also thrown by the jungle habitat of snakes in the backyard. Glad to hear that Marley survived the encounter with the opossum unscathed.