It was 3 A.M and I’d just woken up to get ready to go for my morning run and get my ass over for training, it was in this moment as I stood in the kitchen; staring into the abyss as the kettle boiled water for what would see be my morning coffee.
A loud bark emerged, and I wondered if sleep deprivation had finally gotten the best of me. Paranoid, I began to look around — “what is that thing, is that a fucking wolf howling?”.
It wasn’t a wolf, it was a German Shepherd; a very scary looking fella freezing out in the dead of the night as I observed it from the comfort of my fully heated home covered in my running attire — a dirty hoodie and a dumpster beanie.
I thought it was worth the time, as I sipped my coffee and observed what had caused such an horrendous burst of growling and howling from the guardian angel that protects the home of my neighbours from creeps like me.
I thank to myself, maybe its alerting us of something — maybe it’s me or maybe it’s Maybelline.
I’m not usually a nosy neighbour, usually I’d ignore such a situation; but this little creature deserved my attention, in this moment something just didn’t feel right.
At first, I assumed the worst — it’s an intruder, of course.
A search party began, with me and my trusted smartphone flash light. Nothing of interest was in sight, nothing alarming; yet the fluffy creature would not stop barking.
Have I developed Wolverine like senses that maybe are scaring the dog? Maybe I should give it its space, go for my run and think nothing further of it.
So I did, I went for my run; exhausted and sweaty I jumped into the shower to change from my training clothes to rather professional ones.
The day went by, yet the howling remained; echoing in my memory as to what exactly had caused the creature to act out in such a manner.
The next day I arose, as I always do; preparing for my morning routine and staring into the same damn kettle as it boiled hot water — I paced around, noticing the barking continued yet the neighbours seemed unfazed by it.
Is it just me?
Is it all in my head?
Is the dog even real?
Is the universe trying to tell me something?
I did what any other samaritan would do and snapped a quick video and shared it with my trusted siblings; “Am I crazy or is this dog going completely ballistic?”.
Much to my surprise, my sister responded; “Why the fuck are you sending us dog videos at 3 in the morning?”.
It was a valid question, deserving of a valid answer; “It’s the neighbours dog, it keeps barking. Not sure why…” — I’ve never owned a dog before.
“Urghh…go to sleep” — was a suggestion put forward by my trusted sibling, though as caring as it sounded; I was unwilling to let this doggie get in the way of my morning routine.
“Stop barking, bud! Come on. Chill out…”.
It was in this moment that a rather large fella emerged, looking upwards; acknowledging my presence lurking upon him from the balcony above.
He apologised for the barking, I replied I didn’t quite mind it — even though I did.
He then assured me it’d be dealt with, and I took his word for it.
The day was quite slow and quite frankly I hardly ever have any work to do at my office, so I figured why not — let me just watch that video again.
It was in this unsettling piece of evidence would I uncover, the poor German Shepherd had been dining on trash and left out in the cold; causing it to revolt out in anger.
I felt empathic, but largely I only cared for my peace of mind.
I’m not usually nosy, but I figured — what the heck, let’s go have a chat!
“Hey Big Fella, I noticed your dog seems quite uncomfortable. It barks at night and quite frankly it’s rather scary. Is everything alright? Should it be covered up out in the cold? I know it’s from Germany and it’s quite cold there…but honestly I don’t know that much about dogs. Why do it keep barking?”.
The Big fella looked me from top to bottom, assessing my attire and sarcastically remarked; “Are you a dog lawyer or some shit?”.
I nervously laughed and replied, “I’m actually an Academic Researcher, I just like black suits. I’m no lawyer. But I am damn good at giving advice…”.
I was told to mind my own business, something I’m not quite good at.
Well…I wondered, what if I was the dog; eating trash, out in the cold, a fat sweaty fella who doesn’t seem to care too much for it…I guess I’d turn a bit rabid too.
Now, do keep in mind — I was only doing this for myself and not for the betterment of society nor the wellbeing of the creature.
I just didn’t like the big fella.
Hence, a phone call was made and the authorities did arrive; doing their best to assess the situation and thanking me for alerting them.
Turned out, my instincts had not yet deceived me; as the officers thanked me being vigilant and informed me of the poor condition the little fluffy fella had been kept in.
Turns out dogs do matter, I figured #DogsLivesDoMatter would make good hashtag; but I realised I don’t have twitter and had no intention of posting the video to social media for viral purposes, even though the views would be sweet and fuck I’d be famous.
The video was shared with the authorities, who luckily also had AirDrop — which allowed me to easily share the video without having them scour through my phone.
Turns out the fluffy fella had a name, it was Barky; I admit, I did giggle a bit.
As the authorities took the fella Barky away, I felt a sense of calm — “Fuck yeah, I’m finally going to be able to sleep in peace”.
Barky looked at me, with a glimmer of hope — turned out Barky was on its way to being trained one day to becoming a Law Enforcement Doggie.
I liked that, I never thought Barky would make it past the confines of barking up the old neighbourhood.
It was like the universe had aligned and all the pieces had fallen into all the right places — I am finally at peace.
Except for my neighbour, who didn’t quite appreciate my actions.
“Shit I hope he doesn’t kill me…”
Hiding my cowardly nature with a moment to gloat, other surrounding neighbours emerged; Thanking me for doing the right thing, apparently they too had trouble sleeping.
They began shaming the big fella for the condition it kept Barky in, but I knew deep down they were just ranting because none of them had gotten a good nights sleep.
I guess I was selfish, maybe the neighbours were too — but Barky got something good out of it, and that’s all that mattered in that moment.
I woke up the next day, 3 A.M. to be precise, looking at the same old lousy kettle as it boiled water for what would soon be my coffee; taking my first sip, and it slightly burnt my tongue, and I realised…I kinda miss the old bastard.