Dog is man’s best friend. Sure. Maybe in America. Not in Kathmandu. And it surely does not feel like we’re best friends in the middle of the night. Why, you wonder? Let me tell you why, my friends. They bark. Yes, it sounds stupid to make a statement like that because, after all, they are dogs, they are supposed to bark. But you have not heard dogs barking in Kathmandu. They are relentless. And unstoppable. Even though they are quite annoying during day time, too, it’s during the night that I often dream about world without dogs. Or at least Kathmandu without dogs. They bark so much. So so so much. And so loudly. I don’t think you can even imagine that, without actually experiencing it. Sometimes I lie in bed in the evening for hours, unable to fall asleep as the dogs go on and on and on and on… Sometimes they even wake me up in the middle of the night with their loud barking. Things have become even worse now that the warm weather is here and we keep the windows open.
What I really don’t understand is: why are they barking? There is no one outside. Nothing is going on. Everything and everyone is quiet. Then one dog barks, then the other, and before you know it, half the Kathmandu’s dog population is having a very loud dog conversation. It’s insane. And so frustrating. So very frustrating when you know that you need to wake up early in the morning to go to work, and there you are, lying awake in your bed at 2:30 am imagining a mass murder of dogs. It’s horrible, I know. Makes me even hate myself a bit for thinking that way, but in times of insomnia and frustration, all kinds of things enter your mind. And it becomes even more frustrating when you realize it’s not street dogs that are barking. Not the ones without owners and no place to sleep, the ones that fight each other for food and shelter. Nope. It’s the well-fed ones in neighbors’ yards. What’s up with that? And how in the world are their owners not annoyed by their barking dogs??? Our dog had a barking spree for several days and I could not take it. I was beyond myself in frustration and anger. After that, our dog gets locked in its kennel every night to keep it quiet. Other neighbors apparently don’t feel that way. When faced with complaints about their dogs they say things like: our dog doesn’t bark after 10pm. Oh really? Did you buy it a watch so he can look up the time and go: oh, it’s 10:05, I better stop barking now, my workday is over.
I challenge you all, if you have a dog, to put it under your window at night and let it bark for hours without stopping. Let me know how you feel in the morning and whether the dog is still alive. Let the good times roll!