Marsha Mercer column: Barking dog? There’s an audiobook for that | THEIR OPINION

With all the saber-rattling between the United States and North Korea, I almost couldn’t hear the dogs next door barking. Almost.

Secretary of State Rex Tillerson said Americans should sleep well at night, untroubled by the escalating rhetoric over nukes, but I doubt he’s ever tried to relax to the noise of yapping dogs.

My neighbor Paul has two sweet dogs, three if you count the long-term lodger, but they bark a lot, especially when he’s out.

Naturally, I was more than a little interested in the news this week from Amazon.

Amazon-owned Audible — a digital book-listening service whose slogan is “You don’t just listen to an Audible book, you feel it” — launched an audiobooks for dogs service, Audible for Dogs. It more accurately could be called Guilt Begone.

“I’m always looking for ways where people don’t feel guilty, worried or stressed when they leave their dogs alone,” dog behaviorist Cesar Millan told USA Today. Millan, known as the “Dog Whisperer,” “curated” a list of human audiobooks he says will help calm a pup who’s left home alone.

Among the titles: Jane Austen’s “Pride and Prejudice,” A.A. Milne’s “Winnie the Pooh” and Mark Twain’s “Huckleberry Finn.” They’re not all classics, though. The bestseller “Born a Crime: Stories of a South African Childhood” by Trevor Noah is also on the list.

All this may seem preposterous to cat owners, but separation anxiety is no laughing matter for dog owners. Stressed pups may bark excessively, howl, tear up furniture, relieve themselves in the house and become depressed.

Many dog owners just switch on the radio when they leave home and hope for the best, but Audible cites an academic study from the United Kingdom that found dogs actually prefer an audio book to music. Really?

The 2015 paper from Hartbury College in the west…

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