On my daily walk along Joy Road I pass many scenes. One of them is shown in the image. Another, further along the road, is policed by a black and white dog. My neighbor tells me he is a Border Collie. As I walk by he barks at me without stop as if to say, “If I weren’t on this chain I’d come at you and sever your foot from your leg.”
I, of course, am happy that the chain restrains his turf.
One day, as my walk brought me near, I could see this dog scampering around his usual territory. But, now, he was obviously free of the chain. I got worried and looked around for a stick to defend myself. Fido, oblivious, just cavorted merrily, snapping at flies, running frenetically here and there without a sound out of him. He stopped for a moment, looked at me, and then returned to his play. No barking. No attack. He had no interest in me!
And so I came to understand what Fido was saying when he barked at me.
“Hey you – anybody – come over here and get this chain off my neck.”
Of course any dog lover would assume this from the outset. Apparently I lacked the insights that dog lovers have. I have not paid attention to the language of animal behavior. It’s a failing.