Opus and Tasha
Join Date: Feb 2008
Location: In the hearts of my dogs
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Somehow, my 'quick' reply has turned into a long long posting.... my own version of barking. (and yes, I am guilty of projecting human characteristics on my dogs)
Miss Opus, our previous golden, only barked when she had something really important to tell us... And, when Opus barked we listened because she only barked about 5 times a year.
5 short stories about Opus come to mind:
1 - When I met Jeff, he and Opus were roommates. We had been dating about a month and this was the first time that I had heard Opus bark.
One spring evening we were out walking and came to a childrens playground. When we started to play on the swings Opus began barking at us.
"Bark, bark, bark, bark! Stop it! What are you doing zipping through the air!? You've never done this before. This is dangerous. Stop it right now."
Opus settled down as soon as we stopped flying about.
2 - Jeff was Opus' main man. She rarely let him out of her sight. Jeff had to go out of town for 10 days. When he returned, in typical golden style, she was overjoyed. She wiggled and wagged. But then Opus ran to the toy basket and picked out a favorite plush toy, ran back to Jeff, threw it at his feet and let out a single husky WOOF and then a deep sigh. As though she were saying.. "Where have you been. I thought you were never coming back. I have been so worried about you. Don't ever do that again. I'm so relieved that you are back.
3 - Late one evening while camping in Michigan on the upper peninsula we were in the tent playing scrabble. Suddenly Opus stood, looked around, walked over to the game board, put her head close to ours and softly barked.
We looked at each other and knew something had to be amiss. When Jeff went outside to check out the campsite he discovered a racoon trying to drag a 20 pound container of dogfood into the woods.
4 - Although Opus never said much when she was awake, she often talked in her sleep. It was an ongoing conversation of soft woofs and barks... who know, maybe she was dreaming that she was the biggest meanest dog around. And once in a great while she would bark loud enough to startle herself awake. And she would then look around as if to say "What was that? Did you hear it too?"
5 - For almost 3 years we lived on a boat. Because she rarely ever barked, almost a month passed before our neighbors realized that we had a dog living onboard with us.
We are not so lucky with the current three. Tasha was not as quiet as Opus... but she didn't bark at every little thing. When we added Bob to the family things were still okay. But when Casey came back to live with us, the barking began. And now. several times a day all three dogs find something to bark about. And once one starts, the other two join the barkathon.
And what do they bark about/ and what sort of bark:
The squirrel that shortcuts across the pool enclosure / an excited there it is sort of bark.
The buzzards that like to roost on top of a 50' tall dead pine tree in our backyard / a warning a get out of our yard bark.
When someone knocks at the door, when they hear Jeff's truck pull in the driveway, when I return home from work / an announcement to everyone that he/she is home and the family is reunited.
When a neighbor dog walks past our driveway / hey, I see you, this is my yard.
Sounds (doorbell, other barking dogs, sounds that we don't hear) / I know you're there.
And when they really need to go outside for a bathroom break they walk up to me and woof softly.
Okay... every time I try to edit and shorten this posting I seem to add a little more. Will stop here.
Christine and her traveling circus....
Bob and Natasha
'A Celebration of Opus' http://www.goldenretrieverforum.com/...ad.php?t=35055 And if these pictures have anything important to say to future generations, it's this: I was here. I existed. I was young, I was happy, and someone cared enough about me in this world to take my picture. - Anonymous -