Dog Day Afternoon…

The dog days of spring have arrived which will be followed in a while by the dog days of summer and then the dog days of autumn. Every year now, we wait for the winter weather to break and look forward to leaving our stuffy cocoons. We decide to eat on the porch or work in the yard and then we realize once again that we have forgotten that with the beautiful rebirth of spring comes the unfathomable inconsiderateness of our neighbors who are now free to put their dogs out in the yard on there way to work to drive us that are either retired, work at home or have non-traditional schedules to long for the country life and fantasize on how to make the incessant barking cease. The person directly across the street has 2 jack russell terriers that will bark at anything and do. They bark at ants, worms, passers by, butterflies, falling leaves, airplanes… basically any sound or movement including each other. They bark for hours on end and they bark in a way that sounds like something catastrophic is happening. The first nice day, my other neighbor came over looking for commiseration as he seemed about to do something rash and this is the normal state of affairs. The jack russells’ owner has been approached and talked to on several occasions and on one occasion her ex-next door neighbor even had a screaming match porch to porch where I heard him yell that she was “the most inconsiderate person he’d ever met”. Luckily for him, he lives somewhere else. All of us have called animal control and pardon the pun but the dog ordinance for the city definitely has more bark than bite. This leaves us to constantly contemplate drastic measures that none of us have the heart to do and after all, we all love dogs and it’s not the dogs that are really at the heart of the problem. Mom has recently started shopping online for little fake birdhouses that emit an ultrasonic noise when a dog barks but I have no idea if they really work and it would only work when the dogs are in the front of the house, not to mention that they run on batteries and since they’re on 24/7, I guess you’d be climbing up in the tree every couple days to change out the batteries. All this has led me to thinking outside the box and I suggested to Mom that the next time the dogs’ owner is out doing yard work that the three of us (she, my other neighbor and me) stand on our porch and bark like dogs really loudly for an hour or so straight. Mom thinks this is hilarious (her funny bone is finely attuned to people acting like dogs and dogs dressed as humans) and insists that she would bark at our neighbor if our other neighbor and I would too but I know us all well enough to know it’s not going to happen. Even if it did, I really think that the neighbor with the dogs is not able to be shamed or it would have happened a long time ago. On the other dog front (next door to us), the neighbors with the 4-6 dogs (depending on events we were never privy to) in a yard barely bigger than our living room have officially moved out. Our new neighbor in that house has one older husky named Zeus that doesn’t bark so I consider that a net gain of 6 less dogs. Here’s the only relic of the old neighbors, the door to the garage (I think it sums things up nicely)…

So had a long day of getting shellacked yesterday and am soon to start another one today, things are starting to accumulate…

There ya go… green-ware on St. Paddy’s day.


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19 Responses to “Dog Day Afternoon…”

  1. Judy Shreve Says:

    I can sympathize with the barking dog problem. I had neighbors with 2 shelties that barked incessantly – if my windows were open I couldn’t hear my tv or talk on the phone! I tried talking to her — & got no where. But I finally taped the dogs for an entire day (part of the taping was from inside my house). I gave her a copy of the tape. And told her I would be taking the tape to court or get PETA involved if she didn’t do something about the noise. And that worked — she finally kept her dogs inside while she was gone. And eventually she moved.
    You and your other neighbor should both tape the noise. Evidence goes a long way with the dog control folks.

    But maybe everyone on your street barking at her might just work.

  2. elizabeth Says:

    I feel for you on the barking dog front. we don’t have that problem now, but certainly when we were in the city it was a huge problem. We have had dogs, and we paid attention to them, and loved them and taught them appropriate behavior. Sounds like your neighbours want nothing to do with thier responsibilities to thier dogs or thier community. Happy st Paddy’s!

  3. cindy shake Says:

    You’ve found my hot button -uncontrolled barking dogs. They can make me insane and I’m a dog lover. We have an issue right now with duplex renters next door -even the neighbors connected to the duplex are at their wits end. Two “kickys” (any dog under 25 pounds) are allowed to run looney loops in their yard, taunting our dog -who just stares at them when she’s outside. Nothing has helped the situation including civilized pleas. On several occasions the “owners” have left them outside, forgetting to even close their back door! I’ve taken pity on the bad pups and put them back inside their house while avoiding them trying to bite my feet! The one thing that has finally worked is my son’s hand-held BB gun. That’s right PETA, I’ve taken shots at the insane barking kicky’s butts!

  4. gary rith Says:

    DINGUS sounds Irish πŸ™‚
    if those people were my neighbors I would NOT share beers with them, even if they were thirsty.

  5. Anne Carentz Says:

    Dogs barking drives me nuts. When we only had Molly, she was great. Only barked if she needed to and that worked for me. You actually knew when something was wrong and kept the creepy people away. Now that we have Maggie, the barking doesn’t end. She barks at everything. The people down the road, the washing machine, the kids getting up in the middle of the night to pee. At least my dogs are usually in the house so the only one they’re really bothering is me.

  6. Gordo Says:

    How about a big sign on your lawn: “Don’t blame me, the barking is coming from #(whatever the address is)”. Post their phone number, too. And call the paper. if you can’t shame the neighbour, shame the city into actually doing something useful. πŸ˜€

  7. Ben Stark Says:

    I like the tape idea–it seems worth a shot anyway. I’m fortunate to have mostly considerate neighbors–mostly cat owners πŸ™‚

  8. meredith Says:

    okay here goes- go out and buy a “stop dog bark” or look on line.
    You point at the barking dog and it tells them something like shut up- it has worked for me.
    I carry this when I walk and it has worked well for me to keep unfriendly dogs away.
    We loan it to friends to help train their dogs.
    Go for it- you do have to point it at the dog- but it would work for those close by.
    I found it better then carring a gun….hehe…
    otherwise I like the barking on the porch and I want to see that on video!

  9. nancy pene Says:

    well…you know your neighbors don’t have “pack leader skills”
    time to call on Cesar Millan..
    a St. Patty’s Guinness salute Jim…cheers!

  10. Tracey Says:

    I have the same neighbor, two boxers, they bark from 6am until 10pm, drives me insane when I am outside working. And now my new neighbor just next door has chickens that come up on my porch every morning and crap. Arghhhh……
    Neighbors! #%*@*(

  11. Sarah Says:

    It’s funny and weird your post today mentions humans barking like dogs ’cause on our dog walk today I mused to myself how I enjoy making an occasional dog yelp and wondering if I could get my own soulmate or date with that descriptive charactieristic on some dating website. Then I realized I wouldn’t be persuaded to date someone on that basis – sort of like Woody Allen who doesn’t want to be associated with anyone in his own club or something like that. But I could be friends with someone like mom ’cause she’s a girl. On another note, I also have a bad but adorable dog and now I have to go to court because she has gotten out three times by breaking the windows and escaping. Oh brother!

  12. red dirt girl Says:

    my sister, a vet, has jack russells. she says they bark incessantly because they have anxiety issues. haaaaa! they make good candidates for doggie prozac. i’m wincing, however, because i have a wee little barker too. A mini dachshund who barks at ants and worms and blades of grass. Fortunately, I live in a pretty dog filled neighborhood. Even as I type this, I can hear two different dogs trading barks. So …. I try not to feel too bad when I leave the dog out while I work. I pay extra bucks for the fenced in back yard and hate crating the dog for 8+ hours.

  13. Yana Says:

    I was going to suggest the taping idea too. The owner might not want to keep her dogs inside because Jack Russells can be destructive if they are left alone. Maybe you can get your other neighbours to chip in and buy citronella collars or the homeopathic remedy called “Rescue Remedy” and present them to the owner, she might not know there are options.

  14. artistatexit0 Says:

    Go for the “barking” idea, after all, you already bark on the message on your answering machine!! When do we get to test drive your new beer, tankards, pints, or whatever you call them!

  15. ang Says:


  16. pru Says:

    I really like these bowls a lot jim, think I’ve said that some other time, but I’m still feelin it

  17. eugene hon Says:

    Thats why I am a cat person, as stated in a comment pasted on your a month or two ago. Here in South Africa – every person living in a house has a dog or dogs, for obvious reasons, not as loving pets, but purchased to police the property. They are often victims of crime and suffer abuse like their owners; they are often the first to be targeted, poisoned to gain access for the affirmative shoppers (a term in SA for thieves). They are therefore trained to be vicious guard dogs, that will eat you alive,if you should enter the property unlawfully and or accidently. They to do bark at every out-of-town passerby during the day and respond instantaneously at any noise and or movement that announces an intruder. Luckily I sleep in a small upmarket flat-land, with only a few houses. The only sounds that permeate the stillness of the night after 10 pm is us, everyone else is fast asleep. A suburb once renowned for its wealthy Jewish retired folk. I sleep very peacefully – it is almost unbearably quiet. I once apologized to my neighbour for the noise emanating from my flat on a continual basis and she responded in a unlikely manner. The noise in some way added a human touch to her rather lonely life. Being half deaf, the unwelcome sound made her feel at home, part of an extended family. Different things for different folks.

  18. Jeannie Says:

    Ohhh, I would to share your dislike for these nasty little dogs! The only time in life I have been bitten by a dog it was one of those high strung little “critters” (critters is code for a much nastier name that I cannot print).
    I live in Alaska and have a neighbor with no less than 20 sled dogs and they cannot even compare to your woes! So sorry! My next door dogs thankfully only howl at dinner time and when an occasional Moose passes through. I don’t have any suggestions to cure your rude neighbors that would be legal, I can only send you love and light and good wishes.
    You can only hope that they (the dogs) are very old and getting close to ‘the end’.

  19. Eugene Hon Says:

    Shame Jeannine it,s not the dog’s fault – wishing it dead. What is there to do, seems to be a big problem, with the number and length of the comments. Sad really, pets suppose to be loving animals, cared for and adored and here are wishing them dead, no offence Jeannine – xometime that is the only way out.

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