I love Mort. He is oddly shaped, knows what ‘kiss’ means and has an orange bottom – what’s not to love? However, he possesses qualities that are less than loveable.
One big quality in particular.
Now, I have to take some responsibity here. Dachshunds are repeat barking offenders – we knew what we were getting ourselves into. We even giggled with delight at how cute his tiny little bark was when he was a puppy.
Now, Mort has a grown-up bark, which is so loud that people often think our house is guarded by a Doberman. Until they get closer, and see a Dachshund doing his best Scrappy Doo impression on the window sill. Not so scary.
I’m not going to lie – it is irritating. I understand that dogs bark when they see a stranger approaching their house. This is what dogs were bred to do – there’s not an awful lot you can do about it. But Mort gets worse. He barks if he thinks someone five streets away might be considering a walk down our road. He barks at birds flying in the sky. He literally loses his tiny mind if he sees as cat.
I am writing this in my kitchen, hiding, because our local MP has just knocked on our door, presumably to discuss our woes and concerns, and Mort is going bat shit crazy at her through the window. The shame.
It’s not like we haven’t tried to solve this precious little problem. The water sprayer used to work wonders – we didn’t even have to use it. One shake and Mort would realise it contained water. He’d remember that water makes his fur smell of wet dog (or meringue – ever noticed that?) and he would simmer down.
Not anymore. Mort barks in the face of the water sprayer nowadays. I think he sees a gentle spritzing as a spa treatment, and positively looks forward to it.
So we decided to call in the big guns. We had read about a small, unassuming box you could buy that emits a high sound. It’s not painful, it’s not cruel – it just attracts the dog’s attention, and ‘teaches’ them that their barking is wrong. Pavlov’s dogs stylee.
Does it work?
Does it hell.
I have two big theories to explain why.
1) It has simply provided him with a beat. Like a rapper, he now hears the beat and barks to it. He’s like the Fresh Prince, or a silly less gritty version of Eminem in 8 Mile.
2) He can’t hear the noise. Because he’s barking so loud.
Apparently you have to give it five weeks to work. The rose-tinted glasses part of my personality hopes this is true. The cynic thinks this might be because it’s then too late to return it to the shop.
At this point, we have tried most things. I’m one step away from sitting on the window will with him, and barking with all my might at our local MP, just to see if my alpha dog can outbark him.
We can’t put our sofa anywhere else in our room, so until we move, we are stuck with Mort bouncing around on the window sill.
I figure I have two options.
1) Move. To a house with no windows.
2) Buy ear plugs. Or those heavy duty headphones that drillers wear.
Any suggestions? Before you suggest it, saying ‘please’ and ‘thank you’ doesn’t do the trick.