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Barking Dogs

Guideposts editor-in-chief Edward Grinnan reflects on why he loves barking from canines.

I love my dog’s bark. True, sometimes she won’t stop when I tell her to or she barks when she shouldn’t. Once I caught her barking hysterically at the toaster for some reason, and large pieces of paper being blown down the street can set off a torrent of alarm barking, with a throaty little bear growl on the end of each bark—which is amusing because Millie is far and away the last dog on earth who would do harm to anyone or anything.

In fact, most of the time she is almost spookily silent. Days go by without her making a sound, which is a blessing for an urban-dweller like me, I suppose. But it makes it all the more special when she does let loose even if I end up having to shush her. That’s not easy once she gets going.

I remember every one of my dogs’ barks. That’s because each dog’s bark is distinctive, an aural mark of its personality. And they know it. Dogs love to hear themselves bark. I once asked a trainer why one of my dogs barked so much. She looked at me like I was clueless (she was right). “Because he enjoys it,” she said. “It’s fun.” 

I have a friend, Jana Kohl, who rescued a wonderful little dog from a puppy mill. Baby’s vocal cords were cut so she couldn’t bark in her cage (wouldn’t you scream if you were in a cage 24/7?). It’s hard to imagine anything crueler. God gave us stewardship over animals, not dominance, and to treat them badly is to insult God. I think that’s why so many readers of GUIDEPOSTS and users of this site love our animal stories. Here’s a funny site you can visit if you’re a connoisseur of barking.

That’s all from me. Woof!   

Edward Grinnan is Editor-in-Chief and Vice President of GUIDEPOSTS publications.

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