The other evening, when the humans finally returned home from partying, they all slipped into pajamas and settled down on the couch for a relaxing evening. While I was still prowling in the kitchen, hoping they'd dropped some of the left overs as they filed them away in the fridge, I heard a noise outside. It was a very disturbing noise. I barked at it. Just one, loud woof. Boss Lady, cozied up to Sam (which is her laptop, don't go getting excited for her) ignored me. I woofed another single, loud bark. This time Boss Lady whistled me into the living room, told me I was a wonderful puppy for coming when called, instructed me to sit, and then proceeded to inform me that I was woofing at a false alarm. I cocked my head and looked at her, not understanding her explanation. The proper procedure for declaring a false alarm is for me to woof, her to come to the door or window, her to determine that the noise is something benign like a visitor at the neighbor's, and then inform me it was a false alarm. She can't declare something a false alarm until she gets up and looks out the door the check. She can't see the driveway, or the front door from her chair in the living room. How can she possibly know it's a false alarm?!? I remained unconvinced and trotted back out to the kitchen to keep watch.
See, it wasn't that long ago when we had that conversation about my responsibilities as a guard dog. Boss Lady made it very clear that I was expected to fulfill all responsibilities at all times. I seem to recall a rather lengthy lecture regarding the possibilities of robbers, burglars, rapists, and serial killers breaking in without me noticing. So, if I hear a noise, I'm going to announce it properly. And, if my responsibility is to warn against perceived dangers, then Boss Lady's responsibility is to follow up on my warnings. Following up definitely involves more than sitting on your butt in a comfy chair next to the fire. Are we clear on that? If I bark, you better jump up. I refuse to be held responsible when that burglar breaks in and steals all the chocolate.