Tuesday, September 12, 2006

Mark writes:

My domestic partner and I recently bought our first home. It is in a 1970's development that is well maintained, perfectly manicured yards, well kept modest ranches and ramblers, the occasional boat or camper in the driveway.... the American dream.

On the first day we met Susan. She asked if we were renting the house we informed her that we had purchased it and that she didnt have to worry about bad renters next door anymore. We had heard that the previous tenants had several very loud dogs who alienated the neighborhood. We told her that we have three dogs, but that they were all well trained and that she would never hear a peep out of them. She waved her hand and said that dogs don't bother her and that she was thinking of getting a puppy herself.

It was the next morning at 5:30 that the whining and yelping began. My dogs all awoke and started pacing around unsure what was the matter. There was a puppy in her yard, running in circles and yelping incessantly. This did not stop until around 2:30 in the afternoon when the poor puppy collapsed from exhaustion. That evening when Susan got home she was cooing over her puppy in the yard. My partner and I were grilling on the deck. She yelled to us to look at her new puppy. She said that this was the nicest, quietest dog ever. I laughed and said that the dog had been loud all day, that I was wondering if someone was hurting it! She seemed surprised to learn that there was any noise and asked the homeowners on either side of her who confirmed the puppy had been yelping all day.

After several more days of this I left her a note that stated that I would be contacting animal control if the noise happened one more time. 5:30 am is too early for me to listen to incessant yelping. I copied the local ordinance that outlines the elements of animal cruelty and pointed out that she was not only mean to her dog, but also disrespectful to her neighbors. Then I asked where she was raised. Which I admit was rude but in my defense it was after several hours of hiding my head under the pillow to try to drown out the dreadful sounds from her puppy.

Tonight all hell broke loose. My partner and I were peacefully enjoying our deck when they started howling out the window at us. We at first figured that they were playing a game with the kids who were there then we started to "overhear" conversations about the note on the door and that the police should be called for harassment. Then I went inside I heard more howling and realized that they were howling out of their window. I peeked out the window myself, and one of the adults said that she could see me. She then said that she was going to call the police unless I stopped peeping into their house. I finally asked "What is your problem?" She told me that her mother had lived there for thirty years and that my little note was outrageous. That they had seen people come and go and that nobody ever had a problem with her. I then said that I simply did not want to hear the animal abuse every day. Susan came unglued, she started waving her arms wildly and shrieking at me that she loves her dog, that she would be the worst neighbor from hell I had ever had, and that I should move out of her neighborhood.

At this point her daughter started making lude comments about my being gay. She started talking about me taking it in the *ss, among other such derogatory remarks. She started yelling that God created Adam and Eve, not Adam and Steve! My partner was mortified and he blames me for starting this whole thing.

How can I stop this war from making our lives miserable? I have told you both sides of the story here and I firmly beleive that the woman loves her dog but has NO CLUE what being a responsible dog owner is. Do I have to suffer for that?

Ca1v1n Replies:

I've got alot of folks post since this blog started but your the first person to ask for my advice. So here we go. You own 3 dogs, and probably know more about dogs then your neighbour. Perhaps the answer here was not threatening her with a note about bylaws and ordinances but offering to help her train her dog? It is just a thought and perhaps you did try this already. Personally if I were you I would start by apologizing (blame it on being stressed out from work NOT being up all night due to a barking dog even if that is a little white lie). Then offer to help her train the dog. Teach it some simple tricks, recommend good puppy training books, etc. Perhaps recommend crate training?.

If you do all this and she still cops an attitude then to hell with her. I also recommend you invite her shopping.

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