Charles Bastille
1 min readOct 30, 2022

I had a rescue dog not so long ago and he was a handful. A gorgeous mix of (maybe) German Shepherd and Greyhound. He was a lot of work. But he did provide a lot of comical relief. When we went to the dog park, he'd lead a train of dogs that would be chasing him. It was hysterical to watch.

I learned two main things about dealing with dogs.

One, if it barks, don't bark back. It thinks you're as excited as he is about what he's barking about. To us, "QUIET!!" makes sense. We're tellng the dog to shut up. To the dog, it means, "I agree! Let's go see what's up!!" Because we're barking.

The other thing I learned is that almost anything can be a reward. I learned that a quiet "nope" worked when he barked, but I had to train him first. I kept a treat in my pocket and when he barked I'd say "nope" and hold out a treat. Eventually he got rewarded for being quiet in other ways, like through one of his favorite pets (scritching around the ears).

I have a love/hate relationship with dogs, but really that equates to being a love/hate relationship with the humans who care for them, because I've found that dogs are as good as the people train them to be.

One thing about dogs is: It's a great way to meet decent people. People who care enough about dogs to make sure they get a good walk or two every day are generally nice people.

Charles Bastille

Author of MagicLand & Psalm of Vampires. Follow me on BlueSky: All stories © 2020-24 by Charles Bastille