Bennie the puppy dog, loved to play and sleep.
Puppy-hood had been rough; sometimes he didn’t have a home or things to eat
But then his humans brought him home, to a comfy bed and walks in the park.
Bennie was safe and sound, with one problem: he couldn’t help but bark!
Bennie barked ‘hello!’ to other dogs on his walk, squirrels and children too
He barked when he was happy, or scared, or feeling blue
Bennie barked at thunder, and when skateboards flew by
His humans said “Bennie, we love you, but stop that barking! Could you please just try?”
They tried to distract him, to give Bennie treats and pets and toys
But Bennie kept on barking, at the lights, or thunder, or noise
Bennie didn’t understand, his bark meant lots of different things. After all, he had to bark! Dogs can’t oink, or moo, or sing!
His humans brought in a trainer, who told Bennie “your bark is how you speak. What we need to do is to make a little tweak.”
She taught him ways to show his feelings, with a nudge, or noise, or nip on the ear. Then Bennie could save his big barks, for when he really wanted people to hear.
The trainer also taught his humans, that Bennie’s barks were special and his own. To listen when he meant it, and to reward his efforts with cuddles (and sometimes a bone)
Now Bennie’s family is happy, they all learned how to listen and to speak
And Bennie learned it really is best, to not bark before you think!