Where was thy bark, man's best friend?

In the wake of the earthquake that jolted my apartment building and a large portion of the eastern United States on Tuesday, allow me to express my disappointment in the local pet population. Long known for possessing the ability to sense impending natural phenomena, animals are nature's early warning system. Yet in the minutes leading up to the magnitude 5.8 quake — reportedly the strongest to strike the area since 1944 — not a single bark, meow, chirp, or whatever it is that turtles do, sounded through the cheaply insulated walls of my building.

Oh sure, pets can make all the ungodly racket they want when they're hungry, need attention, or simply want to keep me awake in the wee hours, but heaven forbid they should obey millennia of natural instinct and let us know that a potentially destructive earthquake is imminent. One local office worker reported that the temblor spilled her tea. Imagine the personal catastrophe to computer or groin had I been enjoying a cup of Earl Gray when my desk chair began swaying, while all of the pets throughout my building kept mum.

And a special "Bad dog!" to the 70-pound hellhound that incessantly jumps against the walls and makes my ceiling sound like the site of a championship Greco-Roman wrestling match, yet when man really needs his best friend — not a peep.

These animals have it too easy. We feed them, love them, house them, and occasionally clothe them, yet we ask nothing in return but obedience and affection as they spend their days sleeping, eating, and ruining our rugs and furniture. As far as I'm concerned, local pets dropped the ball on this one. They're getting to be as freeloading, spoiled, and indifferent as Congress.

Randy S. Robbins, Baltimore

Copyright © 2019, The Baltimore Sun, a Baltimore Sun Media Group publication | Place an Ad