Minor progress

OK, so it is no secret that I am not an animal-lover. For the record, I would like to remind everyone, I am NOT AN ANIMAL HATER! I despise seeing animals hurt or abused in any way. I enjoy an occasional trip to the zoo. It’s just that I do not have any desire to ever own a pet. At all. And although I have come to have a fondness somewhere between tolerance and affinity towards some pets of my family/friends, I still find them much more annoying and inconvenient than anything else. Especially dogs. Plus, now that I have kids, I have seen some dogs change irrationally from sweet tail-wagging to scary barking/growling/snipping because the kids have done something offensive unwittingly, and when my kid is at their head level, it’s really unnerving.
BUT, my biggest pet peeve is that in our culde-sac, there are approximately 37 dogs. OK, that is an exaggeration, but I’m not kidding there are at least 8. A couple of the neighbors are conscientious owners and I rarely hear their dogs bark, but many don’t bring their dogs in at night (it’s worse in the summer.) Also, out our bedroom window, we have about 10 feet of sideyard, then our fence, then a maze of 4 or 5 backyards mashed together because of flag lots and roads behind ours. I know for a fact that of those 5 yards, there are at least 3 dogs (possibly 4). It is frequent that one or more dogs will bark a lot during the night, and I have no idea where it’s coming from, so it’s not like I can politely go knock on the door the next day and ask them to bring the dog in. It is such a frustrating, helpless feeling. I had been suspecting our new neighbors though. Right next door. Lab.
Well, last night at 2am, a dog was barking solidly for about 15 minutes, and I was wide-awake. I admit, I was not thinking nice thoughts about this dog. DO NOT mess with my sleep, people. It is rare and precious, and I defend it vehemently. It seemed really close, so I went to my window to see if maybe THIS time I could tell if it was our immediate neighbor’s dog. Sure enough, I saw their light turn on, I saw the neighbor open the door and shake his finger at the dog. THEN CLOSE THE DOOR. The dog kept barking and barking. The light went off. A minute later the door opened again, and you’d better believe I whipped open my blinds and opened my window. Now, this is a very nice young couple with no children. (I know the type–they aren’t ready for kids so they get a dog. I know this type because it’s pretty much EVERY SINGLE ONE OF OUR BEST FRIENDS! You know who you are.) I didn’t want to alienate them as neighbors or make them feel horrible, but I needed them to know that this was getting tiresome.
Trent will confirm that I used a VERY KIND voice, although it was totally fake. “Is that your dog?” I asked in a syruppy sweet, head-tilted to the side voice. “Yeah, sorry.” He said. “Is there anyway you could bring him inside?” “Yeah, we will,” he said. “Oh, ok, thanks!” says I.
HA! I laid in bed very pleased, partly because the dog had FINALLY stopped barking and I had finally been able to DO SOMETHING other than lay in bed wide awake deciding if I should plaster the neighborhood with nasty notes to dog-owners or move. One neighbor down, 36 to go.
On a side note, Carson tasted Preparation H yesterday that he found in a drawer even after I told him it was not toothpaste.
“It was really yucky,” he said when he brought it to me.
I just smiled. “Yeah! I bet it was.” (Don’t worry, I have poison control already plugged into my cell phone.)


  1. I have my own neighbor-dog frustrations. There are several dogs that go to the bathroom in our yard, regularly. One dog ran into our yard and knocked Wes down. And Spencer is now afraid of our front porch because and dog ran up our steps and was barking right in his face. UGH…people and their crazy dogs!

  2. First of all, EW on the Preparation H in the mouth! Blech! And also, I would just like to say that Maddie was never kept outside!!! She slept in our room and I also got so angry at all the barking dogs in our old neighborhood! How does that NOT annoy the actual owners?

  3. I am SO with you on the not EVER owning an animal thing. I have NEVER been a fan, and luckily Mike isn’t either. But, I also, like you, I’m assuming, get berrated sometimes from friends for being an animal hater, which I am definitely NOT. But it’s moments like yours that put me on the verge, I must admit! Our last house had dogs and DRUMS! Who let’s their kid play drums til midnight! The dog thing totally ticks me off though- so NOT okay. I’m with Steph- How does that not annoy the actual owner! You should put some sort of microphone/speaker system from Syd’s room to their backyards, so that when she cries, it amplifies out to them, so they get a taste of what you go through 🙂

  4. Oh my goodness. Where to begin. I’ve been on both sides of this issue having owned two St. Bernards, a mut, and then having 12 puppies. But our dogs were not kept outside at night for that very reason (and we consistently broke the barking habits with each one, so I KNOW it’s possible–or get a bark collar!) Once our dog-era was over and we had kids I jumped over to the “never wanna own a pet (again)” crowd. Too much stinkin’ work and I’ve had ZERO, count them, ZERO positive experiences with dogs. From childhood on we have been met with seemingly sweet dogs who then go CRAZY. (I’d blame myself as the owner, but these were other people’s dogs as well.) Though I miss our old house, I do NOT miss the five weiner dogs next door who INCESSANTLY barked much to the dismay of their owner. I guess that was better than the 5 a.m. crowing rooster on the other side of us…oh, and the chickens, don’t even get me started…

  5. I think that this should make you like Molly even more since she NEVER barks…. EVER. In fact, she might be mute. I’m not sure.

    Anyway…glad you got it handled. I actually like dogs, but find nothing more frustrating than a barking dog that is left outside… especially in a community like ours. UGH.

    Glad that you got one dog handled. And btw, I know the EXACT voice you are referring to. I think you might have used that tone with me once or twice. 🙂

  6. So funny Jen! Your neighbor probably sensed the “sweetness” in your voice and knew what was good for him!

    I’m with you on the animal thing. We had two dogs for a few years and each time I had to scoop poop, I’d be alternately cussing and gagging.

Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *