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NestlÃ© barks when Mike Marder and his wife come home, and he barks when they leave. He barks at delivery boys, he barks at the doorbell, and he barks at the Mardersâ€™new puppy, Truffle.
But for all that effort, the only sound NestlÃ© makes is a raspy squeak.Â Dr. Marder, a veterinarian, tells those who are curious that NestlÃ©, a dachshund-terrier mix, is hoarse from too much barking.
But that is not true. The Marders had NestlÃ©â€™s vocal cords cut by a veterinary surgeon after a neighbor in the familyâ€™s apartment building on the Upper East Side threatened to complain to the co-op board about the noisy dog.
Although there is no reliable estimate as to how many dogs have had their vocal cords cut, veterinarians and other animal experts say that dogs with no bark can readily be found â€” but not necessarily heard â€”in private homes, on the show-dog circuit, and even on the turf of drug dealers, who are said to prefer their attack dogs silent.
The surgery usually leaves the animal with something between a wheeze and a squeak. The procedure, commonly referred to as debarking, has been around for decades, but has fallen out of favor, especially among younger veterinarians and animal-rights advocates.
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