The Queen of the Universe and the New Roommate

If Big Brother is watching us and has Minions parked in front of screens peering into our homes and offices, there's NO doubt at all the Minions have been having a hilarious time watching the goings-on here at the Funny Farm.

One of the professional singers in the choir with which I have the unparalleled privilege of singing (it's a mix of highly trained professional vocalists and us amateurs) is having to move on short notice. Her husband got a very nice job in the Bay Area and has already decamped to set up housekeeping for the two of them there. But meanwhile, she's in the middle of a semester of teaching at the local university, plus of course she has a contract with our choir and contracts with heaven only knows what other outfits. She's an opera singer -- a mezzosoprano -- who travels all over the country to perform.

Well, even though hubby is being paid some astronomical sum, it's not enough to support a home in San Francisco and one in Phoenix. Hence she was looking for a place to camp out for the rest of the semester, so she could close out the obligations she has here before joining him in the City.

I happen to have two unoccupied bedrooms, so I offered her some space (the extra income will supplement my Social Security pittance, and besides, she's a lovely person).

LOL! You who are of the Corgi Tribe can guess, can't you?

She was happy, she was thrilled, she was humbled, she was grateful...and she was barked at.

Barked and barked and barked and barked and barked and barked and barked and BARKED at.


There's a reason Cassie was abandoned at the dog pound under a sign that said "Barks."

Yes. She does bark.

Mme Butterfly, as we'll call her, is not a dog person. She's not NOT a dog person, but she's not so committed to dogdom that she ever could become, oh, say a corgi person. Possibly even not a German shepherd person. A greyhound person would be more like it. Especially if greyhounds came in teacup sizes. :-D

Ruby the Corgi Pup thinks Mme Butterfly is THE single most wondrous human being she's ever seen. This is not surprising, because  every human is the single most wondrous human being she's ever seen. She dances, she stands on her back feet, she frolics around, she begs for food.

These phenomena nonplus Mme Butterfly, but she's coping. She quickly grasped the uses of the word "No."

But Cassie: the barking is so far beyond comprehension as to appear to be the manifestation of some Martian tribal culture.

Ruby does not bark.

But Cassie barks when she hears the delinquents across the street moving around. That's OK by me...they are delinquents after all, and need to be barked at occasionally.

Cassie barks when I get out of  bed and walk down the hall. I no longer hear it. Mme. Butterfly is jolted out of the sack...that would be because the dogs roust me out around 5 to 6 a.m.

Mme Butterfly thinks it's something she's done.

No. It's the way we greet the rising of the sun.

Cassie barks when she wishes to converse. She converses quite a bit, and if you would care to discuss the recent debate of the Democratic candidates for President, Cassie can hold forth at great length on the subject.

Cassie barks when dog food is in the offing.

Cassie barks when a doggy walk is in the offiing.

Cassie barks when she wishes to go out the back door.

Cassie barks when she wishes to go out the side door.

Cassie barks when she wishes to come in the back door.

Cassie barks when she wishes to come in the side door.

Cassie barks when Ruby wishes to go out or to come in.

Cassie barks when the phone rings.

Cassie barks when the phone does not ring.

Cassie...barks. A lot. Cassie barks so much that Mme Butterfly is surprised and puzzled when Cassie is not barking.

Over the past couple of days, Cassie and Ruby have become accustomed to Mme Butterfly's presence. Ruby is no longer interested in examining every molecule of the woman's shoes, legs, and clothing. And Cassie has calmed down significantly

In fact, Cassie has almost stopped barking. We both noticed this and were alarmed. Or at least...we noticed it, in our separate spaces.

This morning we compared notes and each realized we had noticed the cutback in the barkifarious department.

Why exactly this is happening, I do not know. It may be because we have both stopped yelling at Cassie to PIPE DOWN and instead are whispering at her whenever she starts to converse. Instead of QUIET!!!, it's quiet.

So there it is. I have no idea what causes the calming of corgi-barking. Could be just getting accustomed to whatever stimuli trigger the doggy commentary. Or maybe the trick is to respond to LOUD with soft. Whatever the cause is, we're enjoying a brief (no doubt) period of peace.


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