Tuesday, April 5, 2016

Dogs. Barking Dogs.

D is for Dog.

Not my dog. She hasn’t done anything of interest since we went to a rescue together to choose another dog and she picked Damcat. It wasn’t the brightest decision, but at least the cat doesn’t bark.

My neighbor’s dog is a yippy yappy barker. A cute shih tzu named Chowder, who won’t. stop. barking.

The neighbor doesn’t have a fence and ties the dog out on a lead. The dog starts barking the moment the neighbor goes in the house. An hour later, the dog is still barking. It’s usually tied out four times per day. That’s a lot of barking. It gives me anxiety. It makes me mad. It isn’t Chowder’s fault. The owner should be chained in the yard.

So I’ve tried everything short of going next door and talking to the woman. Discussing the problem would be the mature thing to do, but I never said I was mature. I know she can hear the barking dog and doesn’t care, and I know she knows the barking bothers me and doesn’t care. So what in the world would we discuss?

Now you’re probably thinking, maybe she has no idea and would bring the dog in sooner to keep peace. Nope.

On occasion I have stepped outside and said, “Chowder, no bark.” Chowder looked at me and kept barking. I once offered neighbor who doesn’t care the option of putting Chowder in my fenced yard once in awhile – she could run around and even play with my dog. That never happened.

I trained my Coco to stop barking ages ago, using a hotel bell. The high pitch bothered her, so saying NO BARK while hitting the bell did the trick in a few lessons. I’ve tried stepping to my deck and ringing the bell for Chowder. Chowder missed one bark beat and started in again. My dog thought she was in trouble and hid.

One evening after listening to it until I was ready to shoot bottle rockets at their house, I found my car keys and hit the alarm button. I couldn’t tell if Chowder stopped barking until I turned if off – those babies are loud. It worked. Chowder was silent. Two minutes later she started barking again. My car alarm went off again. Maybe a couple more times.

I didn’t do that again. It didn’t change anything and just made me look like an asshole.

Two nights ago it started up again, for the fourth time that day, including the 6 am wake up bark. I’d had it. I went to the deck and screamed. I’m not a screamer – I don’t like confrontation and I don’t like loud. But I’d lost it. I screamed until I heard the neighbor’s back door open. Then I went back in and slammed my door shut.

Yesterday afternoon I was doing dishes when it occurred to me that I hadn’t heard any barking all day. Not once. I was embarrassed about my outburst but thought the nightmare might finally be over.

I glanced out the kitchen window to see the neighbor heading home on the walking trail. She was carrying her dog.

She carried it to her yard, tied it out, and went inside.

Good dog, Coco.


  1. Good, good Coco, poor, poor Chowder. You have enormous patience. This piece was funny and heart wrenching. Dogs tied up are prey. Your neighbor needs more pet education :(

    1. She seriously does. Thanks for the comment.

  2. Once again, I realize how fortunate we are in the neighbor department here in Chicagoland. We are surrounded by young, QUIET families who simply smile and wave. If I were you, I'm afraid I'd be peeling that double-stick tape off the Xanax bottle immediately. I don't handle incessant noise of any kind well; ask any pen-clicking former student of mine.

    1. Oh, and food smackers! Ack! At least we can usually walk away from the noise. My area is quiet and peaceful - except when that dog is tied out. I may have to find that Xanax!

  3. That's horrid. Not only is it damn inconsiderate of her, but that's a lousy way to treat her dog.

  4. I agree with everyone else. Good dog, Coco, and POOR CHOWDER! I feel so sorry for her! I'd bark my ass off, too, if someone tied social-needy me up outside all day and night.

    I live in a neighborhood with dogs who set up a cacophony chorus every time they hear a siren. I live around the corner from a fire station.

    1. Well, that's problematic. Ugh. I'm coming over for a poetry fix!

  5. What is the fault of owner when he chained his dog in the farm and keeps it barking? Well, the fault is, he should have unchained the dog. He probably is not giving right care to his pet.