In my childhood home, nearly any disturbance—a distant car horn, the creak of the mailbox opening—set off a cacophony of barking. Tamale the Chihuahua usually started it, with a series of high-pitched, frantic yips. Then Mistletoe, a miniature dachshund, joined in with her slower, deeper barks. Their combined noise built to a terrible climax that usually ended with (human) yelling. Not the ideal solution, and we knew it.