CANISTEO — Every night is a three-dog night at this writer’s Canisteo home.

Not the dozens of popular songs from a 70s band but rather the loud semi-musical WOOFs, YAPs and howls of three dogs that weigh fewer than a total 38 pounds even after breakfasts that they wolf down, you’ll pardon the canine pun.

The huddle of hounds include two Shih Tzus and a cute little pooch that’s probably got some terrier in her DNA.

The oldest and biggest of the trio is 16-year-old Sheena whom we inherited from a nun who cared for the Shih Tzu since birth. Sheena tips the scales at a shifting 18-plus pounds, depending on how quickly she can dart in at mealtimes and terrorize food from her two step-siblings.

Her fearsome BARK, BARK and BARK set the decibel level for her more diminutive and less passionate bark-mates. When she’s particularly enthusiastic (read “starved for breakfast or any other meal or snack“) Sheena’s passionate bounces and accompanying BARKs are catalysts for speedier service, she thinks.

A fact of musical life we learned when Sheena joined the family canine corps is that the only muffler for that behavior is a heaping bowl of meaty chow, no matter the time of day. The traditional evening meal (in Sheena’s lexicon WOOOOF) was originally 6 p.m.

She has moved meal time gradually forward until now, when her internal clock starts prompting around 4:30 p.m. If she lives to a riper age, Sheena could start her dinner demand shortly after noon, although weight issues may suggest sterner clock watching from my wife and me plus elimination of the words “Dinner” and “WANNA EAT, Sheena?” from her vocabulary.

In addition to a loud insistent bark, Sheena bounces more than two inches off the floor with her every meal-time request. There seems to be a relation between altitude and volume: The louder Sheena barks, the closer to the stratosphere she propels herself.

We expect a throaty and loud BARK will eventually send her ceiling high sometime next fall. We haven’t located any canine altitude records but expect to Google and then exceed those efforts sooner than later.

The second Shih Tzu is a slim 16-year-old male named Moo Shu. He’s been the delight of our household since we found him in Apex, N.C. before we relocated from Dixie. His great attitude is only matched with his habit of extending a tony pink tongue a quarter inch when he‘s hungry.

The small piece of pink protoplasm parks among the half dozen choppers he’s retained. We suspect that the enthusiasm of his bark has helped extend at least his tongue until it now nestles among his remaining choppers (or more appropriately “chopperets).“

If his plan involves eating and running around the patio for 20 minutes, Moo Shu is always successful.

Moo Shu’s other trick is to bark from the edge of a kitchen coffee table until the bipeds who theoretically run the house gently place him on the floor or ground.

The chronologically third pup is an estimated eight-year-old pooch whom someone gave to dog control officer Gary Hadsell. Hadsell arrived on our back porch one cold and drizzly morning four years ago. A woman had dropped the brunette pup at his feet and declared she had a plane to catch. She drove away so quickly Hadsell had just enough time to protect the pup from the chilly drizzle and ask if we were interested in the pup who would melt a witches heart. If you ever see her, you‘ll understand she was carried into the house and has called that her domain since.

Her bark is shriller than her attachment to the bipeds who keep her in an old house in Canisteo village. Sophie’s only flaw is her avocation: she’s an escape artist who has memorized the map of downtown Canisteo.

Sophie’s bark would border on melodic except for her habitual delight in starting a bark-a-thon slightly louder than when the Canisteo-Greenwood band marches past our front porch. We can’t compete with the band brass but the trio is working on that.

How loud are the canines? My boss and newspaper city editor, Neal Simon, wondered aloud one recent evening and suggested a hungry trio might make an interesting story.

If you’re reading the story, Neal agreed.

If you agree, thanks.

Al Bruce covers education news for The Spectator.