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Pets

Bark

Our puppy, Charlie, hasn’t quite learned to bark yet.

He makes lots of noises, especially when he’s settling down to sleep. He’ll sigh, and squeak, and make long, drawn-out sounds of sweet contentment. It’s hilarious and adorable.

He also does a “rrrrruuuuuuugggggghhhhh” growl when he meets somebody new. It’s not an aggressive sound; it’s more like curiosity mixed with caution.

Every once in a while, he’ll make a short yip that sounds a little bark-ish. And, I’ve heard him truly bark, quietly, hesitantly, once or twice, echoing our other, older dog, Mollie. But Charlie doesn’t bark on his own. He’s definitely not much of a barker, at least so far.

Mollie, on the other hand, barks all the time. She barks at squirrels. She barks at neighbors walking their dogs in front of our house. She barks at the mailman, and the cats, and even at us, if we’ve been out of the house and are coming back inside. Sometimes, she’ll just randomly let loose with a bark, and we can’t figure out why.

I’m actually okay with Charlie not barking. Mollie does enough barking for the two of them. She’s sort of the spokesdog, the big sister who tells the story. The alpha. She gives the verbal cues, and Charlie follows along.

I suspect that Mollie is also good with this arrangement. Mollie and Charlie are good companions now, but there’s still a bit of jealousy from time to time. Mollie’s gone from Only Dog to Older Dog. It’s been an adjustment, this learning to share toys and snacks, walks and sleeping spaces, attention and affection.

One day, Charlie will probably become a little more verbal. He’ll most likely have more to say. As long as he understands, however, that Mollie gets to have her say first and loudest, I think everything will work out just fine.

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