When I was six, my family and I went on a summer vacation to a small town in BC called Kimberley.* The only things I remember about Kimberley are:

  • The town was designed and decorated in such a way that it felt like everyone should be wearing lederhosen.
  • There was a giant cuckoo clock in the middle of the town square, and when it rang, it was a tiny yodeller instead of a bird.***
YUP.
YUP.
  • There was a super fun alpine slide we went down. (Like riding a toboggan, but on a track, and in the summer.)

Anyway. If you look up Kimberley, you’ll find it’s kind of a sleepy place and there’s not a ton to do. Especially when you’re a kid.

SIDENOTE: But check it out: when you’re an adult, you can totally have THIS MUCH FUN in Kimberley:

SO MUCH FUN!
SO MUCH FUN!

Since there were quite a few of us, we were staying in this cute little townhouse sort of deal, and we were up a floor or two. Or it had a couple floors. Guys, I was six. I don’t remember. But what I know is that we had a balcony, because one of the first things I did was check out the balcony. And what did I see right below our balcony but a couple of really cute “puppies” (see: a giant German shepherd and some other huge dog) hanging out on their own balcony.

Amazing.

So I barked at them.

What’s that?

Oh, no, you didn’t read that wrong.

I barked at them.

It’s what I did.

(I was a special kid.)

Seriously, though, I just loved animals SO MUCH, you guys. My mom used to call me Elmira, after that fucking annoying girl on Tiny Toons who loves all the animals so much she just wants to SQUEEZE THEM TO DEATH.

I refuse to agree or disagree with this nickname.
I refuse to agree or disagree with this nickname.****

So I barked and a howled and I got the dogs worked up into a frenzy. They barked and howled back. And rather than be scared or off-put by the noise, I was like, in my element. So I kept on going. I felt like the dogs and I were performing together like a symphony. I may have even started singing some opera. (There’s a possibility I’m imagining that detail because I want so badly for it to be true, but it also wouldn’t be out of character, so let’s just say it happened that way.)

I absolutely remember closing my eyes and soaking up the beauty of the moment, I can tell you that much.

Until the owner of the dogs came out onto their balcony, looked up at me, and shouted, “HEY! KNOCK IT OFF!”

Then I fell eerily silent and slunk slowly back into our room. No one seemed to know what had just happened, so I just shut my mouth. Surprisingly, I didn’t cry. I was probably too scared that the guy was gonna come knocking on our door and tell on me.*****

Lesson learned: Don’t fuck with other people’s dogs.

(And also, I am clearly a dog whisperer.)

xA

*I Googled Kimberley in an attempt to find out the population and one of the first things that came up was a news headline from November that said, “Grizzly Bear Attacks Couple Near Kimberley, BC.” So definitely visit – it’s beautiful.**

**The population is less than 7,000, BTW. Probably because bears got to lots of them.

***The tune of that yodeller still haunts me. It was not unlike the yodel in that Price is Right game.

****But I will say that I was definitely that annoying.

*****Because when you’re a kid, you think everyone does kid things, like tell on people.******

******A lot of adults still do stupid kid stuff, though, so I was pretty much right about that.

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