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Beacon Senior News

Quincy barks “yes” and sometimes “four”

Aug 04, 2020 01:25PM ● By Marti Healy

Quincy is a very literal sort of dog. He’s more agreeable than well trained, although he’s rather opinionated. Loyal to a fault. He’s vulnerable and naive and not terribly brave, but compellingly sincere.

Quincy is the kind of dog who barks first and asks questions later. Particularly when anyone comes to my house. No matter how often they may visit, how well he may know them, he announces their arrival loudly. He announces it to me, to them, to himself, to most of the neighbors.

“They’re here!” he barks at the top of his voice.

The purpose of their visit doesn’t matter either—to steal the silver or bring a cake, to fix the plumbing or take me to lunch—it’s all the same salutation. Quincy prefers to figure out the good or the bad of it later. It’s all about the greeting and acknowledgment that he’s aware of them.

He’s even been able to determine that when I am on the phone, I must be talking to someone he simply can’t see. So his solution is to run around the house, barking out loud and looking everywhere for them. Then he barks directly at the phone.

This can be rather disconcerting to the caller. Q’s bark has disconnected some unwanted phone scams (good dog!), but he has also created some unintentional results when the automated options are “press or say one for yes…press or say two for no” and he barks “one.” Once he apparently barked “four,” because I was suddenly talking with a nice man in charge of Medicare questions for businesses. Fortunately, he liked dogs and found the humor in it all, transferring me to the department I actually wanted.

Quincy has been a life-lesson to me since the first day I brought him home from the shelter—as have all of the animals that have graced my life. This one’s barking at unseen visitors is no exception.

I suspect I am meant to learn much from him, as he reminds me to welcome all with equal enthusiasm, to say “hello” first and ask questions later, and to not jump to judgment (after all, they may be the ones with cake).

Following his lead, I’m learning to be involved with life personally and literally. To be agreeable, even if I’m opinionated. To try hard even when it’s difficult. To be loyal even to a fault. That it’s okay to be shy and vulnerable and naive and not necessarily brave, as long as I’m always sincere.

And, of course, there is the compelling lesson to never miss an opportunity to choose “yes” (or possibly “four”) because you just never know where it will lead.

Did you know dogs feel emotions? Read more here.