Saturday, June 25, 2005

Barking Dog Torture

You've heard of Chinese Water Torture. You've heard of The Rack. You've heard of the electrodes on the privates torture. You've heard of Crying Baby on Airplane torture. Is it just me, or is there also Barking Dog Torture?

We have new neighbors two doors down. Really seemingly nice people. Three dogs. Big dogs. In a 15x15 yard. The dogs are out all day while the owners are away. Would you think I was lying if I told you that all three dogs bark NONSTOP for NINE HOURS until the owners come home? NINE HOURS. NONSTOP. If one dog stops to take a breath, the other two are still at it.

I honestly don't know how much longer I can take it.

And I am someone who LIKES dogs. Especially big ones.

But I just can't take the noise anymore. It is like a freaking hammer to my skull for 540 minutes each day until they come home from work. Last week was beautiful weather: 73 degrees every day with a nice breeze. I opened all the windows and doors to get the fresh air in and was just lovin' life....until...8:30am when the barking started. And then did not stop. 9am. 9:30am. 10:30am. All the way to 12:30pm when it was the bambina's afternoon nap time when I had to close all the windows on her side of the house because she couldn't settle down and get to sleep with all the ruckus going on outside. So on a beautiful day, I had to close all my windows and turn on the AC so that a) my kid could get to, and stay, asleep and b) so I could stop thinking about how someone might lose their mind and throw some rat poison milkbone over that g*****n fence. It's a terrible thing to think, but if you can imagine NINE HOURS--32,400 seconds--of three dogs' constant barking to the extent that you cannot open your windows, cannot sit outside, cannot hear yourself think, then it starts to be an understandable evil fantasy.

I was thinking it was just me, until I saw three separate neighbors come down the alley and ask which house all the barking was coming from. I felt a little less evil, realizing that the noise really actually was so unbearable that people were leaving their homes and walking down an alley to find the source.

So--what to do, dear readers? My plan is to go knock on their door and tell them that I'm concerned for their dogs because "they are obviously in distress all day while you are gone, since they bark unremittingly for 9 hours." Then wait and see what the reaction is. If it was my dog, I'd feel just awful to hear that a) my dog was barking himself hoarse for a full day, and b) my neighbors were beginning to hate him--and me--because of it. Surely you can train a dog not to bark, right? Can you keep them inside? Can you recognize that you bought a rowhouse in the city that is wholly unconducive to giving three large dogs the space they need?

What would you do? I want to go in assuming that they will be genuinely surprised to hear that the dogs bark and that they will want to do something to fix it. But I need to be prepared for them to take offense on behalf of their dogs and chalk me and my neighbors up as dog haters, even though I myself am nothing of the sort.

Although I will say that 3,740 hours of barking could understandably turn me into one. HELP!


Raine said...

Talk to your neighbors first. If they're going to get irate, kindly remind them that you could have easily reported the incessant barking to the authorities, and they would have come home to find a hefty fine waiting for them.

If the barking does not cease, call the authorities.

Angella said...

I think that's a little extreme. Let me tell you how I handled a similar situation. Slip a note in their mailbox, completely anonomous and you can be as frank and honest as you please without being the dog hating neighbor. If the barking doesn't cease, then you can resort to knocking on their door like it's the first time. They'll think you're the second person to complain and won't be so harsh.

Anonymous said...

I'd go with what angella says followed by a call to the authorities if the 2 attempts fail. There is also the option of getting a few members of the community together so they know that this is definitly a problem that isn't just the ravings of one crazy woman who sends notes before she comes over.

SquareSlant said...

Tranqs in hamburger...toss over fence!

Vigilante said...

Not don't take offense, E., when I tell you that having large dogs is like having small children!

As the owner of a very large dog who used to have a barking problem, I can say there are solutions at hand for these owners.

After all, no one in their right mind would leave their small children home alone all day. Right?

All these people need is a little information and a little motivation. (Angella has some good ideas).

Then they'll go out and hire themselves a dog-sitter.

E said...

Thanks Vigilante! And everyone!

I wrote the note. A "Dear Neighbor" note, which I signed A Fellow Dog Lover. Just said that I wanted to alert them to the fact that their dogs bark incessantly when they are gone, since I'm sure they do not know, and wanted to let them know, as a dog lover myself, before someone less enamored of pets made an issue of it.

I wrote the note last night at 10pm--during the SECOND hour of their barking bender. I just figured that they could blow off a complaint about a dog barking all DAY, but 10pm is just insane.

Today: Peace and Quiet Reign on Haggis Street.

BarkingDogATLAS said...

Just add their dog to the Barking Dog ATLAS.

Anonymous said...

I dont know how you stood
9 hours, really
barking dogs are torture
and we the neighbors are at
their mercy.good luck