For about five months now I’ve noticed that Chuck exhibits a certain distaste for the telephone primarily by dropping whatever he’s chewing on, cowering and promptly leaving the room whenever the phone rings. At first I thought it was funny, like ha, ha, my dog is afraid of the phone, isn’t that cute?
But I haven’t been able to figure out why he can’t stand to stay in the room while I’m talking on the phone. For a while I thought maybe he’d been beaten in the first four weeks of his life with a telephone receiver, but that doesn’t explain why he responds to the sound.
And then yesterday in a brief moment of uncharacteristic insight I finally figured out what was wrong with my dog: Chuck doesn’t understand that I’m talking to someone else when I’m talking on the phone, and not unlike my mother and my very Southern and flashy sister, I have a tendency to speak VERY LOUDLY when I’m talking on the phone. I don’t know why I do this, I think it’s the same reason people talk loudly when they’re wearing headphones; we think other people can’t hear us over the music, and so we compensate by yelling. I tend to think that the physical distance between me and the person at the other end of the line requires me to up my volume by about 600%, otherwise how is someone in Memphis going to hear me when I’m all the way over in Utah?
I also tend to slip unconsciously into my southern accent while talking on the telephone, and this is the only time that happens other than when I’m angry or drunk on tequila.
So whenever my dog hears the phone ring, he’s like, OHMIGOD, THIS WOMAN IS DRUNK AND ANGRY AGAIN, IT’S TIME TO TAKE COVER.