It had been a bad evening. Between little sleep due to a newborn, a long day at work, a three-year-old’s perfect-embodiment-of-an-upraised-middle-finger meltdown, and a previously house-trained dog’s homemade mud-wrestling-pit in the upstairs hall, my neurons were frazzled.
Grumpy and resentful, I trundled the dogs out for their nighty walk, muttering and cursing to myself like a crazy person. As we passed a house we pass regularly, we discovered that the door to the enclosed porch had been left open, allowing a rather large, black dog we’d never met before to plaster itself against the screen door and begin barking aggressively, even furiously, at us.
I had pretty much had enough. I was tired and pissed off, and I really needed that decompression time to regain my sanity. Without thinking, I dropped into the low, gravelly voice I had to learn to use when disciplining our bull mastiff, and roared, “HUSH!”
To my surprise, the black dog stopped its calamitous caterwauling instantly, dropped down from the door, and just stood there, looking at us. For a moment, I paused, basking in my restored quiet time.
Then it happened. From inside the house came a woman’s voice, quiet but with a razor-sharp, mocking edge to it, carrying possibly the most devastating thing I’ve ever heard one human say to another.
“Why won’t she do that for you?”
I must have giggled for an hour straight…