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 cul–de-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.)