Passover ended last Wednesday. It’s a busy, hectic, and difficult holiday, and as it lasts eight days, many people travel to spend it with family. This year, our community was hit by a number of break-ins, all of which occurred at houses where the owners were away.
Clearly this has the feel of an “inside job.” As far as I know, the police have no leads and have made no arrests. The other day I saw one of the neighbours whose house was burgled; I’ve known him and his wife since I moved here 16 years ago, and their daughter is one of our babysitters. Though they were away, they had let someone from out of town stay at their house, and the thieves had made off with much of the visitor’s belongings, as well as their children’s small cash savings. The Spouse and I had a break-in ourselves about 14 years ago, and my neighbour and I talked about how unsettling it is: the sense of violation, feeling unsafe in one’s own home. Then he laughed and said, “I don’t suppose you want to lend us Our Best Friend, do you? At least we could record him barking!”
Our Best Friend has a fearsome bark. When the Spouse comes home late at night, he phones before he comes in so I can make OBF sit next to me; for some reason, if I have my arms around him, he doesn’t bark. He’s even come to realize that when the phone rings late at night, it means the Spouse is on his way. He sits alert, eager with anticipation, but silent.
Because when he does bark, it stops your heart and peels the hair from your scalp. It’s a cross between a bark and a howl and a baying noise. It’s not one bark to warn us; he continues to bark, even when sent to his bed, until the person enters the house. We need a trainer to come back and work on this issue before someone has a heart attack.
The irony is, he’s no protection against burglars. First, once you’re inside he’s your best friend: the cliché of all bark, no bite. Second, he only barks when we’re here. If I come home to an empty house, he makes not a sound. So if thieves come to visit when we’re out, his barking won’t deter them from breaking in. Then again, I have no idea how he’d react to nervous strangers on his territory; he might spring at them, or otherwise react aggressively, which would be fine with me.
But if they case the joint first and hear his wuffing, they’re likely to abandon the idea. (Assuming they don’t read my blog, of course.) And if they try to come in the dead of night when they think we’re sleeping and won’t hear them, they better think again; we’d have to call the police to arrest them and an ambulance to revive them from heart failure. When we’re out of town, we’ll have to rely on the burglar alarm; when we’re here, I’m glad we have Our Best Friend manning the fort.