There’s a German Shepherd in the neighborhood who likes to bark in the afternoons. Since this was meant to be a writing afternoon, I’ve been tense. Barking isn’t an intrinsically soothing sound and I prefer silence for writing rather than, say, bark-drowning music or earplugs. It’s hard to type with fingers in your ears.
Finally, after two hours I figured, noise for noise, I’ll go out to blow leaves. Of course the barking picked up since now my dog Jesse was outside too, looking at the barker in his bemused way, at my bizarre activity, and then sitting on grass, which excited the barker even more.
Finally, quite devoid of reason, I went over and shouted, “Shut up! Stop barking!” She did. Amazing. A few moments of silence, or rather, my leaf blower. Barking again. I shouted again. Silence. As I was putting the blower away, the shepherd came running up to the fence, barking. I pointed at her. “If you bark, I’ll shout.” She looked at me a minute and then trotted away. It’s still quiet. I’m very amazed.