Radar O’Reilly And Then Some

The dog has been particularly reactive to the outside world, lately. He’s an anxious dog at the best of times, but in the Spring and Summer, that gets almost incomparably worse because there’s so much activity outside and almost every noise he hears makes him panic. The worst noise of all, it turns out, is the sound of ladders being set up or taken down; whenever that happens anywhere near the house — by which I mean, honestly, anywhere within a one block radius, because dogs have really good hearing — he goes into full-on, running-around-the-house freak-out mode. He runs throughout all the rooms, barking and sounding the alarm: there are ladders close by. We should watch out and be prepared for invasion.

I mention all of this not to make fun of the dog, although there’s no small amount of humor to the whole thing; instead, I bring it up because there’s an unexpected side-effect of dealing with all of this, which is: now I have found myself surprisingly reactive to sounds around the house.

That’s not to say that I’m also running around the house sounding alerts at the smallest provocation (nor that I’d even be tempted to do such a thing; it sounds like far too much work, for one thing), but I can’t deny that my ears perk up when I recognize particular sounds outside the house — especially ladders, it’s true — and I find myself tensing, waiting for the dog to run through and bark in alarm. I feel as if my hearing has ended up being supercharged by the whole thing, much to my amusement, making me wonder both what other sense is going to start failing to balance our this newly enhanced hearing, and also whether this background awareness of everything around me is what it feels like to be Daredevil from Marvel comics.

It’s a cliche to say that people become like their dogs the longer they’re together, I know; I just didn’t think it would happen like this.

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