GREENVILLE, Ill. — When Brian Gertler was playing with his 1-year-old dog Dudley he ran into a problem: his excited barking was waking people up when they played at night.
Gertler, a 24-year-old native of Peoptone, IL, is a resident director at Greenville University and lives in an apartment with his wife inside a freshman dorm. While students aren’t allowed to have animals, Gertler can, and he said their two dogs are very popular with the residents who are nervous about living away from home for the first time.
“It’s a good icebreaker for a lot of these students,” Gertler said. “Sometimes they feel more comfortable talking to the dogs than talking to me.”
But while Gertler and Dudley could play outside during the day, when they would bring the game into the dorm’s student lounge at night, the sound of barking would wake up students who were preparing for school the next day.
Luckily Gertler noticed that Dudley didn’t bark out loud as he got really into a game of fetch because he was out of breath from running back and forth. Seeing a solution, he slowly trained the border collie and Australian shepherd mix to “speak” by barking in a whisper.
Now the excited dog can bark all he wants when they play, albeit in a much quieter way. Just like a game of fetch, it’s a win-win for everyone involved.