You’d think it would be hard to communicate when all you can do is bark, wouldn’t you?
Anger or displeasure, fair enough.
But more positive things?
Needs or emotions?
I’m thinking of our little Barks-tail Crew, Bella and Lily … and that cranky Roy Kent character in Ted Lasso.
More of the Royster later …
Halloween season is on its way, and more and more bangers have been going off in the fields behind our house.
Just the other night it started to get a bit war-zoney outside.
Well, the barking out of Bella and Lily!
Annoying, as I was trying to work online, and the wifi was acting up (I’m glad I looked back at this sentence, as autocorrect decided to make it ‘the wife was acting up!) …
When the yapping decibels got too much, I shouted at them to quiet down (no, not the wife! Am I that brave, or that stupid?).
Next thing, this little double pad of paws, and the two of them appeared in my little home office — I don’t know where my wife was — and soon both were stretched out on the floor beside me, Bella actually against my right foot.
Normally, snooty Bella keeps her social distance from the Lilser, and sharing such a small space of this would be total anathema.
They had been barking out of fear, confusion probably, and low-scale distress, I’d say, doggie communication genius that I am.
Barking mad, you say?
Not the most subtle of techniques, but they sure can do a lot with what they got.
Bella, especially, is incredible.
Around 6pm every day, if we haven’t fed her, and I am upstairs here in the office, she will pad up upstairs, station herself in the doorway, do that cute little hunching back on her hind legs thing she does, and shuffle forwards and backwards, barking louder and louder, until I act.
She is directing me to get up off my ass, and follow her down to the kitchen, where I am to feed her.
Lily is usually darting around in the background, barking away, giving the distinct impression she doesn’t really know why she’s barking, but it’s the right thing to do.
It’s hard to tell who has trained who around this 6pm feeding ritual.
Pavlov’s dogs or Pavlov’s Me?
The pair of them love their regular walks … I’m sure Pavlov and his hounds did too … but it’s like Bella and Lily live in permanent anticipation, no matter how tired or flaked out they might seem, and certain movements of mine and A’s tell them they’re on for a ramble, and they shoot towards the front door, barking in exhilarated anticipation.
My brother G was hugely tickled as a kid by a line in one of the Famous Five books, about George’s dog Timmy: “Timmy barked joyfully”
It’s one of those kind of daft in-joke things you have in families, and it often makes us both chuckle … the absurdity and clunkiness of the line … but it is true, dogs do bark joyfully!
Bella also barks when she wants water, and when she is fed up waiting for us to take them for a walk, and tries to force the issue …
Did I ever tell you she also howls on demand?
Any of us does a kind of howling noise, and she throws her head back and gives us the full howling at the moon howl.
Bit of a party piece …
But what about Roy Kent, you say …
Well, not sure how many of you watched Ted Lasso, as it is on Apple TV, and I had to pay a month’s subscription to get it … you had a free week’s trial to suck you in, but at the end of that, the last two episodes still hadn’t dropped, so to keep watching, you had to stump up.
Cheeky but neat, huh?
I’ll assume you’ve seen it, or if you haven’t I recommend it highly.
Not that I didn’t have some gripes thinking back on it after finishing season two …
But cranky Roy Kent — as the name alone might indicate there’s a fair bit of TV persona Roy Keane about him.
Only way less subtle than the real one, in the broad comedic style off Ted Lasso.
But that’s not quite true either … the whole thing ranges from the broadest of slapstick to really subtle and deeply moving moments involving particularly the characters of Ted himself and club boss Rebecca.
But, Roy …
Well, he barks, innit!
This cockney now retired footballer, or fuhballa, as he might pronounce it, is an irredeemable grouch, who actually growls (kind of a bark!) before he says anything.
Even terms of endearment to his beloved Keeley, and his adored niece Phoebe are coated in the foulest language and prefaced by a literal growl … and he has to head-butt his old sparring partner spivvy wide boy Jamie Tartt, before he can hug him after AFC Richmond win a big game …
Brett Goldstein, who plays Kent (and is involved in the writing of the show) is so dark and saturnine looking that all he would need is a top hat and cape to look like a vaudeville villain (that’s him in the main pic above) …
And the show gets huge mileage out of his efforts to hold up his hard man image, as he does things like watch a Love Island type TV show with his Yoga Mums buddies, or swear in menacing frustration at his failure to get a coaching point across, and the camera pans to the West London Under 9 Girls team he is barking at …
Oh, and just to finish off … brain has just piped up with an observation about probably my all-time favourite fuhballa, Bobby Moore.
Where was England World Cup winning captain Bobby Moore from?
Barking (in Essex)!
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