They all know the drill. Pavlov couldn’t have planned it better. Buzzer goes off. Stimulus sets off a four-legged frenzy with dogs barking, jumping, beside themselves with anticipation. Who, pray tell, is at the door? If a household has more than one ebullient beast, each intensifies the other, building the crescendo of yapping, howling, hopping and scratching to a fever pitch that won’t break until someone, anyone, enters that apartment to play this piece out to the end. Canines, like their humans, are creatures of habit and even their most impassioned moments aren’t entirely unscripted. Annoyed neighbors already know the plot and are not amused. They’ve experienced the chaos unleashed when I press the wrong buzzer by mistake, to another apartment with dogs, just not the ones I’m supposed to meet that day. Some pooches won’t stop pacing and whining by the door for hours, unwilling as they are to give up hope that someone, anyone, is arriving as promised. They may have to be locked in a back bedroom just to calm down, and to keep the neighbors from banging on the walls.
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