It's unusual for Penny to stay outside barking, but yesterday evening she decided to go to the backyard and see if a little bit of woofing would bring someone out to tell her to stop.
I decided to let her go ahead for a bit, to give her the message that barking won't be rewarded by someone coming out to see what she's up to. I stayed near the back door, ready to call her if it seemed she was working herself up into some serious barking, or if she went on so long that the neighbors might be annoyed.
I was counting the seconds of silence, ready to call her when she'd been silent for at least ten seconds, thus rewarding silence rather than barking. I count seconds by saying to myself, "one cat 'n' dog, two cat 'n' dog, three cat 'n' dog" etc. I read recently on the blog called separated by a common language that there are many different ways around the English-speaking world of counting seconds.
Just as I was ready to give up, she came in. Whew! I sure hope she doesn't try this little trick again.