We don’t own a decibel meter, but I wish we did. We strongly suspect that petite Dionne has a louder bark than the macho, 8 years older, 30 pounds heavier Mr. Tucker. Her voice at times feels ear-shattering. She doesn’t bark all that often, but when she does, she makes up in volume what she lacks in frequency.

Where Tucker has it all over her is in the howling department. Sirens set him off, as they do many dogs, and over the years, his howls have grown more and more mournful. They’re almost operatic. He lifts his snout high (the better to project?) and varies the pitch and phrasing. Here’s a sample:

Dionne never responds in kind. After recording Tucker the other day and playing my recording back on my computer, I discovered that the very sound of his own voice makes Tucker howl along. (This raises the possibility of re-recording him howling along with himself; I could add layer on layer to create a huge virtual howling dog pack!)

Dionne was standing next to me as Tucker accompanied himself. She stared at the screen. She stared at him.

What’s WRONG with him?!?

At one point, the eerie serenade prompted her to leap up and put her paws on his back; it looked like she was trying to get him to stop. At this point in her young life, she clearly thinks howling is nuts.

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