My neighbors have dogs.
Not just a couple cute, shaggy, tail-wagging mutts from the local pound, but a kennel filled with hunting dogs. Loud, hungry, and annoying dogs who start barking at about 5 each morning.
We live on a farm and by “neighbors,” I mean the people who live about a half-mile away through an old field that has too steep a drop to a creek bed to ever be a real pasture. (To reach these neighbors by road, you would have to drive out to the main road, take a right, and then another right, and then another right. By road, they are about five miles away. But, through the field, they’re much closer.)
I’m not positive, but I’m pretty sure there are about 63 rabid wolf-hounds in that kennel and they haven’t eaten in days. They would probably chew your arm off if you got too close.
They don’t bark all the time, but when they do, they all do. They’re loud and their noisy discontent travels through the pasture like a storm cloud that opens up right over our house.
Some days they are louder than others. Like right now.
Last night in the AL Wild Card game, the Baltimore Orioles lost to the Toronto Blue Jays, the team that no one loves from the country that doesn’t even like baseball.
They lost in the 11th on a three-run homer.
The Orioles season is over.
Those damn dogs are rattling the walls of our house right now.
Sometimes on the weekends when the dogs are especially depraved and hungry, you can hear the dude over there yell at them. “SHUT UP! SHUT UP! SHUT UP!” There is momentary silence and then the barking gets even louder. Every single time. He yells at the dogs and they just start barking louder. If I’m sitting on the porch, I’ll sometimes look over at Hell Hound House and say – just a little louder than the last time – “Yeh, dude, that’s still not working.”
The Orioles made some mistakes last night. Their bats were cold and, sure, O’s fans will spend the next five months second-guessing the decision by Manager Buck Showalter not to bring in their Cy Young-deserving closer Zach Britton, who, we are 100 percent certain, would not have given up a three-run homer in the bottom of the 11th to the Blue Jays (a team that, I think I’ve mentioned, no one even likes).
Oh, wait … the dogs just stopped barking. Just like that, it’s quiet again.
But, my heart is still going to be sad for awhile.