Posted by: lifeonislandtime | October 29, 2011

Bark-free Curtains!

So, I’ve come to the realization that having a German Shepherd has it’s downsides.  The largest downside to this is, of course, the copious amounts of hair everywhere.  I have yet to leave the house without my clothing being peppered with long dog hair since we’ve brought the beast home.  Not a week passes without my wanting and even threatening to shave the dog to prevent the hairy mess from overtaking my house.

The other vexing issue with a German Shepherd is the incessant need to guard what he considers “his”.  This includes the house, the front yard, and most importantly, me.  For those who have never seen my house, we have a leaded-glass-paned door, flanked by floor-to-ceiling windows.  These are the only windows on the front of the house, and they look out on the courtyard, front yard, pond, and at the top, give a view of the sidewalk and the street.

What this means in German Shepherd terms, is that any person, dog, cat, rabbit, bird, insect and even gusts of wind are visible to the dog.  Said dog, being of the protective nature, feels the need to “protect” his house from all of these threats.  This usually involves loudly barking, raising his (impressively long) hackles, and jumping around to make himself look and sound fearsome.  As a passive participant in this endeavor, I usually a) jump a mile with the onslaught of barking, b) drop/throw/move what is in my hand/lap and c) yell at the dog to shut up, followed by a command to get in here and lay on his bed.  All of these happen about 20 times a day.  Elvis, not understanding that I do not see rabbits, cats, birds etc as threats to my well-being or continued existence, gives me a very disgruntled look, and continues to watch out the windows.

As I’m home all day dealing with the noise produced by my ginormous dog, I finally decided to do something about it.  I cashed in some of my Joann Fabric coupons on 2 1/2 yards of red linen and came home to make new curtains for the windows.  They are now hanging, making my entryway darker but adding some much-needed color to that part of the house.  Most importantly, the dog has barked twice in the 3 days since I have hung them!  I am finally enjoying a quiet house, and more importantly, a quiet dog.  The dog, however, is not happy with me.  He lays in his usual spot, and stares toward his windows.  Periodically he gives a deep sigh.  When I walk by him, he gives me an accusing stare.

I feel badly, taking his windows away, but I also realize that my day is quieter, he is getting yelled at less, and in time, his little doggie brain will forget that he used to have windows he could look out and bark out.  After all, he still has the entire back half of the house to look out and bark out.

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