Toy breeds and their mixes yap. Rather loudly. You can hear them from blocks away while they perform a little "homeland security". For toy dogs and their mixes view the world around them as intruders. Nobody is safe. Beagles and their mixes can bay. Rather loudly. This is instinctive, something about their behavior which cannot be controlled. Ever. They bay to alert their masters from afar of hare or fowl during hunting expeditions. For these men, this is a highly desired instinct!! A highly desired instinct. Rose bays. Yeah. She possesses what I affectionately refer to as "mighty vocal chords"!! Rose's bay, her "happy sound", is high-pitched and can be eardrum-piercing. No kidding!! It sounds as though somebody has just stabbed Rose in the back with a dagger, and blood is gushing out of her wound. Like she's dying. Literally. Rose carries on and on and on!! I have often wondered, if she were to be involved in a competitive yapping/baying match, who would win? Which canine has the loudest vocal chords? Who would come in first? The headache-inducing yap.... Or the nerve-rattling bay? Well. The other day, this mystery was solved!! And, its answer surprised me!! We had spent our morning hiking this beautiful nature boardwalk, Rose's red leash securely attached to my right wrist. The weather was overcast and muggy. Yuck. I drank twain bottles of water, yet still managed to get a headache!! Twain bottles!! I felt dead by the end, as though I'd caught some nasty head cold germ!! But, happiness is a mindset, after all. Happiness is a mindset. So, while we walked and walked, I keeping Rose well hydrated, she poking her ebony nostrils everywhere, squatting and leaving "pee-mail" along our paths, I attempted to maintain this positive attitude. I will enjoy myself!! And I did!! Rose is such a fun dog to take hiking!! Well-behaved. Curious. She is my little trail-blazer!! While on the boardwalk, Rose always peeks her light brown-colored head through its wide-open sides. To see what is down there!! Tadpoles. Insects. The occasional snake. Who knows what might lurk beneath those murky waters!! On the car ride home, we stopped at Dairy Queen for Blizzards. Mmmm!! I stayed in our Chevy minivan with Rose, its sliding door swung open, her red leash wrapped tightly around my right wrist. After a short wait, the Oreo cookie Blizzard which I ordered arrived!! Yum!! The sliding door still open for air current, and a busy street nearby, I never let go of Rose's leash. By nature, I am right-handed. However, with Rose securely attached to my wrist, I ate the Oreo cookie Blizzard as a southpaw!! Quite successfully, actually!! Hey, I could pass for being left-handed!! Meanwhile, this family who we used to attend church with pulled up in their minivan. A couple of us stepped out and greeted them. They'd brought their dog, this tiny miniature Dachshund, along. Rose had already sensed that there were friends outside, but she seemed calm and under control!! Initially. Then the miniature Dachshund's vocal chords let out a fury of yapping!! Nonstop. And, suddenly, like some wild stallion, Rose reared back on her hind legs, pawing our drivers seat, to take a look. She whined, then bayed. I patiently scolded Rose for jumping up. This is not allowed!! Then I just gently stroked Rose's velvet-soft fur, making verbal "ssshhh-ing" sounds, empathizing with my hound about a behavior that can't be controlled. A behavior that can't be controlled. Much like my short-term memory loss. Or Attention Deficit Disorder. Much like my being weird and somewhat crazy!! Then, I listened. Plus I observed. My ears and mind took in this yapping/baying match. I always thought that Rose's "happy sound" would beat any toy dog's defensive "I'm-bigger-than-I-look" bark. Wrong!! As Rose bayed, and the miniature Dachshund yapped, which sound could I hear the loudest? You guessed it. The yapping miniature Dachshund!! Mystery solved.