Later, we found out that Mr. Woofles (not his real name; see Bullets Over Broadway for his namesake) had had some digestive problems in those barking days, and the barking was a symptom of that, not of any bad temper. And yet even last fall, when we were out in the back yard, he'd keep running around and barking.
And like last Saturday, when I was raking the yard. Having work to do, I ignored him, and he got bored with the barking. I looked up a little later towards the gap in the hedges, now spanned by a small wire fence, and there was Mr. Woofles, just looking at me. So I walked over and pet him on the head, and he seemed to like it. Or maybe it was the fact that I'd been wearing rawhide work gloves and he just liked the smell. No matter, it's not the first time the world as seen a relationship that started out based on some kind of material interest ! While the dog is still not quite clear on
fetch (find stick, start chewing, get bored/lose, stop, come back without said stick), I think we might have an understanding now.
And what is Tracey Ullman doing these days, anyway ?