Written by Jackson Hoff
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Sunday, 10 August 2014

image for St. Clair dog barks up wrong tree
Not Toggles. Not even a German Shepherd.

Toggles, a 4 year old German Shepherd, was found yesterday morning barking up the wrong tree.

Mr. James Trifles of St. Clair, PA, expressed surprise and dismay all at the same time. "That damn dog. I don't know what I'm going to do with him. I love him like a son. In fact, I think I love him more than my son... Jesus, I guess I shouldn't say that."

Trifles added that Toggles has already become something of a joke in the neighborhood. The dog has been seen chasing "rainbows", it is said. He has been burying novels in various gardens; mostly historical fiction, according to locals. Charles Duftman, Trifles' neighbor, said that in one growing season, he's retrieved 4 fairly popular books, including "War and Peace" by Leo Tolstoy and "An Officer and a Spy" by Robert Harris, both hardback editions, around his peas and radishes. And oddly, Mr. Trifles has found a number of stock photos of ABBA, a Swedish pop group formed in the '70s torn from various sources, laying by Toggles' food bowl.

"Now this. Now he's begun barking up trees that aren't even really trees. Some are just really tall bushes. For as long as we've had him, he's always barked up the old goddamn black walnut in the back corner of the yard. He'd go straight to that tree every morning, take a leak and bark his head off. It's always been that stupid walnut tree."

"Now", said his owner, "now he's barking up the stupid Formosa out front. If that's not bad enough, he's after the pine that was struck by lightning this past summer. He gets sap all over him when he's over there."

To say that Toggles owner is frustrated is an understatement. He has taken him to the veterinarian on several occasions for examinations. The dog's doctor has determined that Toggles is simply a "bad dog". "I'm not suggesting that he's mean-spirited, or purposely disruptive or of a vicious nature", stated Dr. Sherman. "He's just a bad, or more accurately, a broken dog. There's nothing to be done. He just needs love and attention. An ordinate amount of attention".

Apparently, the Shepherd will be barking up the wrong tree for as long as he wants. Trifles' son, meanwhile, continues to chew on table legs and wet in the vestibule.

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The story above is a satire or parody. It is entirely fictitious.

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