Just for fun · opinion

When dogs bark…

While building my website, I was creating a list of adages from around the world and there’s one that stood out in my mind and I just figured I’d see if I could make a blog post out of it. Seeing as that was the point of creating the list in the first place. :). Anyway the saying was:

Picture of a dog with the words: One dog barks at something, and a hundred dogs bark at the sound.
Photo by Alan Quirván from Pexels edited in Photoshop by me

So the purpose of the whole adage list is to interpret the saying… both figuratively and literally. And in compiling the list, I ran into a lot of sayings I’d never heard before from countries all over the world. I purposely left the “country of origin” out of the list because there are proverbs that transcend origin. If you pop into any forum about adages, you’ll find conversations that go something along the lines of, “We have a saying like that but it goes… [something slightly different mostly due to language and culture].” So putting a country of origin, to me isn’t conducive to the conversation. It’s the adage that I want to talk about, not where it comes from. Anyway… I’ve never heard the saying above, but boy-howdy do my dogs play that out every day in a very literal sense. One dog sees or hears something and begins to bark and the others will take up the cry just because the first one started it. They may or may not have seen or heard what the first one did, but holy hell, they’re gonna bark at it anyway. Sometimes I can identify what they’re barking at, but sometimes it seems to me that they’re just barking at the wind. Who knows? Dogs have better hearing that we do, and a better sense of smell, maybe they’re smelling something I can’t smell and they don’t like it. I dunno. I do know that they bark at people who have long since passed by our house, and I find that both frustrating and amusing. Like, stop barking, dog, that person isn’t even here anymore. I think anyone with more than one dog can attest that this one is true — literally. Hell, anyone who lives in a neighborhood with dogs probably nods their head at this one.

Picture of a dog in a field with the words: I believe in the power of barking. The only reason I'm alive today is because of barking. Every day the mailman comes to my house and I bark until he leaves. To this day, he has not brutally murdered us all. I have barking to thank for that.
Picture is mine. I saw the saying online somewhere

But let’s look at this in a figurative sense too. Because I also see this in the media and in my everyday perusing of the internet and the world around me. Now, usually “dog” is meant as an insult, but I don’t mean in that sense, but over the decades I’ve living on this big, blue orb, it’s been my experience to see one person start barking and “a hundred dogs” bark at that sound. The other “dogs” don’t always agree with the first. Oh, no, there’s often a hue and cry around the first sound that’s a cacophony, and it’s often intense and short lived (like dogs barking). Until the next dog barks. Then the din begins again. And this is not a new thing. Oh no. Don’t even think that the mob mentality or “cancel culture” of today is new or different. It’s been around for as long as people have gathered in groups of more than two. Hell, get two people together and the same thing will occur. One will “bark” and the other will react. What I’m saying, dear reader, is that we as humans are often not much different than the animals we ridicule as being “silly” or “dumb”. I suppose that the invention of the world wide web has made it much easier to create a racket with a single tweet or off-handed remark, but even a cursory look into history will show that people love to make noise and ‘bark’ when the first dog starts barking. I had a bunch of example of this, but my brain isn’t working right now. I’ll leave it up to y’all to fill in the blanks. It’s after two in the afternoon, and my brain just sort of shuts off in the afternoon. I spent way too much time working on the picture up there. 🙂 And this one:

Picture of a dog with the words. There's someone at the door. How can you be some calm at a time like this?
Picture mine. Saw the saying online somewhere.

So what do you think, dear reader? Are adages a good writing prompt? Have you heard of this saying? Let me know. Thanks!

5 thoughts on “When dogs bark…

  1. I haven’t heard that saying, but it makes sense. The one I like about dogs is: “The dogs bark, but my caravan travels on.” I have no idea if that is from the Middle East, but I’ve always liked the image of the village dogs barking at my camels…..who just keep strolling to the next stop.

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