Friday, 12 April 2013

Barking mad!

A programme on local radio today, discussing the annoyance of constantly barking dogs, reminded me of an incident which happened last year.

It was a Bank Holiday and we had been away for the weekend, returning on the Monday evening. Within a couple of minutes of arriving home, one of our neighbours knocked on the door to ask if we knew where the dog lived, which had been barking, whining and howling all dayAs we spoke, the next door neighbour to the dog owners came out and said that the owner had sent her a text earlier saying they were out all day and the dog was in the garden, with access to the conservatory.  Apparently she had had words with the dog owner before about the dog being distressed when on his own.

As things were getting a bit heated, with a lot of concern for the poor dog, I volunteered to talk to the owners when they returned.  I felt that as I hadn't been subjected to the noise all day I would perhaps have a different perspective on things.

The owners returned a while later but as it was then quite late, I decided to leave it until the next day.  I duly went and knocked on their front door, with no result - I couldn't even hear the dog barking.  I did this two or three times during the day; I believed they were at home as their car was in the drive.  By evening time I decided to telephone them - again two or three times over that evening and the next day, with no reply.

So I wrote them a letter, I quote a piece of it "I hope you won’t mind me writing this to you but I think it’s best that everyone is upfront and honest about these incidents, especially on a small estate like this; "

The entire letter was quite mild and, in my view, placatory.  I heard absolutely nothing for a week or so, not even the dog barking!  However, on a trip back from the local shop, I passed the neighbour walking the dog and spoke to him, as usual - 'morning, how are you'.  His response was to blank me, cross the road to the other side and carry on walking!!

I was very surprised and told him he was rude and then, as I continued walking home, became angry so knocked on his front door and when his wife appeared I asked what I had done to upset her husband.  She was obviously quite embarrassed and said she would speak to him.  I told her not to upset her neighbours as she might need them one day (I should add that her husband has heart problems and has been 'terminal' for about 11 years).

He hasn't spoken since, to any of the neighbours, but she waves to me from her car when we pass.  People are strange ......

BTW the dog disappeared for a while and when he came back didn't bark anymore, so I can only hope he had some anxiety training.   

1 comment:

  1. Ooooh, barking dogs are maddening. I once had a neighbour who had 4 of them, and who sometimes babysat a fifth, and the barking went a long way to driving me as batty as I am today ;-)

    I think you're very brave to take on your neighbours, and you did it with great tact. I'm such a chicken that I simmer and fester with resentment and eventually explode.

    I'm glad your Mrs Neighbour didn't respond the same way that Mr did. As you say, people are strange.

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