The last couple of nights at the dog park, I’ve been barking quite a bit. But all the people I bark at have one thing in common: they’re smokers.
Most of the time at the park, I’ll just be minding my own business—I sniff around, ignore the dogs that I feel superior to, and maybe even play a bit with my humans (I choose to be nice to them sometimes). Then, to my humans’ surprise, I’ll run as fast as I can and bark/borderline-howl directly in front of any smoker who is sitting down.
The thing that really puzzles my humans is that the smokers don’t have to be smoking to make me want to bark. If someone’s standing and smoking, we’re fine. But, if that smoker should sit down, smoking or not, there’s a 75% chance I will feel compelled to bark at them.
My humans have seen this phenomenon before; when some of our cigarette-loving family friends come over, it takes me forever to be comfortable around them. I’ll occasionally erupt into barking mini-fits around these family friends, even though I know it’s ‘wrong’ (the pet communicator, Dr. Monica, told my humans that my shiba mom taught me not to bark & that I know it’s wrong). My humans can usually calm me down quickly and without incident, and after a while I revert to my normal semi-loving, semi-aloof, trouble-making self. Yet, there’s something about these smokers just makes me want to bark…
My humans think that this smoker-directed barking is a bit weird. They think that when I was a pup (before they rescued me from Shiba Inu Rescue Association), I might have known a smoker human who wasn’t so nice to me. I insist that it’s just part of my wonderfully unique shiba personality. We have struck a deal, agreeing to disagree, on the condition that there are treats forthcoming.
Anyway, do any of you shibas out there do this? Let me know in the comments or on twitter (@_tar0_).