31 March 2007

Woof! Woof!

I received an anonymous letter from one of my neighbors. Because it is anonymous, I am unable to respond and apologize. But since it's anonymous, I can put it on the Internet. So here it is, with my response.
Dear Neighbors,
I'm writing to you regarding your dog. I haven't lived here for very long, but since that other family with the annoying barking dog moved from the neighborhood, it has been a relatively peaceful area. [S/He's referring to the people who lived at Meg's house, I think. I never heard their dog, but they had dogs and they moved away.] Until recently. It shows a tremendous lack of consideration toward your neighbors to let your dog bark from your porch at whatever it sees. This is not a small dog. Its voice is loud and thunderous and is amplified off the other houses. The dog is frequently waking my daughter from her naps, and me from mine, especially when you let it bark at night. Couldn't you keep the dog in your back yard, or get a muzzle for it. I'm getting very frustrating and don't know what else to do, other than calling the police, which I'd rather not do.

So please show some respect and consideration for the other families living in the area and train your dog not to bark. Thank you!!!!!!!


Your Neighbors

Dear Anonymous Neighbor,
It is unfortunate that this couldn't be resolved face to face. It shows a tremendous lack of neighborliness.

We've had our dog since November. In that time, I've left him on the porch no more than 5 times, and no more than one or two hours. We don't leave him out all night. We don't leave him out during the day. He's in the house when we aren't around or it's night time. I wonder then, if you're not hearing another dog. In the past week I tied him on the porch twice and when he started to bark too much, I brought him in.

I apologize if he disturbed you and your daughter. (Frequently? I find that hard to believe, given the rarity I've put him on the porch) He does have a loud bark. I won't put him on the porch any more.

In the future, please speak with us directly if there is an issue that can easily be resolved between neighbors. We, including our dog, don't bite.

Your neighbor

I asked one of our other neighbors if he can hear the dog barking when he's in the house. He said no. I am really irritated by the anonymous note addressed to neighbors. There's nothing neighborly about it.

Last year, the people who own a quadruplex down the street let their shrubs grow out into the sidewalk. I wrote to them and asked them to trim them. They did, and then wrote me back, apologizing, and thanking me for bringing it to their attention (they live a few towns over). I would never write an anonymous note to another neighbor. But that's just me. Gosh. I know I'm in the wrong here. I need to stop putting the dog on the porch (it's really been a handful of times). But I'm pissed because I can't talk to this person about it. Maybe there's another dog that is left outside more than Jeddy. What happens when I stop my behavior, but the other person doesn't? Will my "neighbor" call the police on me?

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