image courtesy of DollyPartonmusic.net


Larry's not so bad when he has his snout shut...

Larry’s not so bad when he has his snout shut…

He only does it when I’m not around… Come to think of it, he only does the things he’s not supposed to do when he’s thinks he’s alone. He’s sneaky like that. Not only that, but his rebellious nature is beginning to rub off on his peers as well. He’s never sure when I’m home, so he assumes if he’s outside then I’m not home… Maybe it’s an “outta sight outta mind thing?”

I know his nature – I know his strengths and weaknesses… if both were stacked side by side it would probably be about a wash… When I am home and hear sirens in the distance growing closer and louder, especially when he’s outside, I know the neighbors are in for it. Larry runs to the middle of the backyard and yells at the sirens or howls I guess I should say.

Larry’s a little guy, but he’s got a set of lungs like a coyote. I guess they didn’t breed all the dog out of hybrid yet… I feel bad for our neighbors, plus it grates on my nerves when he howls… and now he’s got Lola beginning to add to the harmony. When Larry is howling, I’ll go to the back door and hit it hard – scaring the howl out of him. Other times I open the door and give him the “CHU! – CHU!” I learned that little trick from the dog whisperer… Wish it worked like it does on TV…

I was in my den working on a Saturday when I heard him. “Awe – Larry!” I said to myself listening for the sirens but didn’t hear any. He stopped as quickly as he started so back to work I went. A few seconds later he was at it again… irritation and curiosity got the best of me. When I got to the backdoor I stood off to one side to spy on the little trouble maker to figure out why he was howling.

It happens now and then, and it just so happens that I had the old country classic satellite station on in the house and in the backyard to work by, (professionals say that this can be normal for a person who was forced to listen to country music as a child…) As the chorus for the old Dolly Parton song, “Mule Skinner” came around again, so did Lar. (pronounced lair)

As Dolly yodeled “yodelayheeeeeee”, the chorus Larry chimed in with enthusiasm. He’d wait and sure enough, on cue, he’d begin howling again with the next chorus. I started laughing still hiding from Lar, I knew if he saw me he’d know from past experience to shut his mouth… or snout… I waited for the next chorus and sure enough, he joined in like he was part of her band.

Funny how things change in this life. It’s a constant – the one thing we can count on. Our bodies change with time and so can our minds and hearts. I’m not sure Larry can change… but I can… I’ve heard that song since the day of Larry’s harmony and know that the memory of my childhood will be replaced, at least in part, by Larry howling along with it.

I also realize that I don’t always have to be the enforcer of rules around the house. It’s about the heart, not the rules… And while Larry tends to break the rules, he’s like most of us and has a pretty good heart… It’s pretty bad when you’re overdue reminder comes from your howling dog…

If you’re in the mood to howl you can chime in here Mule Skinner Blues.