I Love My Dog But I Hate, um, Truly Dislike, No, I Was Right The First Time, Hate Yours  

Posted by Heidi in

Especially if you live across the alley from me and yours is the dog that barks incessantly in cold weather right into my bedroom wall. The one against which my head reposes. At night. Whilst I am sleeping. (Or, as is more often the case, during Christmas vacation when I am still sleeping at ten a.m. on a Thursday almost-afternoon.) I can’t tell you how much I want to throw a big piece of poisonened, er, bloody meat so you will just ut-shay up already!! (The dog, not the neighbor.)

Don’t get me wrong. I have my own dog, (a fact with which you are quite familiar unless you missed yesterday’s post which, according to one report couched in tender and euphemistic tones, was a post of alarming proportions, making it very difficult to miss) a most charming and well-behaved dog whose raison d’etre is to be charming and well-behaved whilst looking adorable and cozy in your now-warm lap. In fact, she is a lot like a cat except she comes when you call her and instead of incessantly licking herself clean she is more interested in licking you clean (though I can do without that part).

The point is, she doesn’t bark (and bark and bark and bark and bark and BARK!) And NEVER at night and rarely when outside and if she does, we drag her into the house (where she lives--with us--the rest of the non-barking dogs in the neighborhood) and if she even so much as looks at the cat (on the roof adjacent to us) cross-eyed, we give her a stern finger-shaking talking-to.

Just saying.

Um, so does anyone have any ideas as to how to deal with this barking dog situation (such as specific non-traceable poisons, er, discreet butchers) because it’s really ruining my vacation-sleeping-in-beauty-sleep. (I apologize if I have implied any kind of dog-owner superiority in this post. If any of you have an out of control barking dog, I still love you.) (Honest.) (And your little dog, too!)

This entry was posted on Thursday, January 1, 2009 at Thursday, January 01, 2009 and is filed under . You can follow any responses to this entry through the comments feed .

33 wise, witty and wonderful comments

You can do what my dad always did (and still does): BB gun, cocked a few times. Shuts them right up.

Good luck. May you get your beauty rest.

(Pseudo swear!)

January 1, 2009 at 12:37 PM

My dad was same as Erin. Our neighbor's dog used to bark like crazy. So, one night my dad shot him with a BB (it only stings 'em), same as the next night...after that, once the dog heard the window open, he was quiet:)

January 1, 2009 at 12:45 PM

Love your title here, Heidi.

My aunt forced her neighbors to have their dog fixed so he can't bark. Removing the vocal chords or something. He still tries but it comes out as wheezing. To me, that is extremely sad. But I'm not sure what I would do if I lived right next to a serious barker. Greg loves dogs DEARLY but has had many a violent thought about them while lying (laying? Oh shoot! I don't know and what if Annette reads this!?! :) in bed awake from their noise.

You must keep us posted on this one. And super good lookin' kids and the dog, too.

January 1, 2009 at 1:02 PM

Is that a Bichon? Im house sitting for my parents and they have 6 bichons! And they are ANNOYING! One is great because it doesnt bark much... but you put them all together and I want to scream!
Im just glad i get to leave in a few days!

Happy New Year!

January 1, 2009 at 1:08 PM

Erin--so do you know where I can find a good used-but-reliable bb gun? (I don't think I could get away with that in my little squeaky clean city--the cops have nothing better to do than to come after those who shoot off BB guns--really!)Barb--however, after reading your comment--hey, if I only have to do it one night, I might get away with it. I will have to scale a fence to hit my target and will risk being seen, esp. the fleeing the scene part, but it's a thought . . .Lisa--that is sad! However, they have such a thing as a bark collar. I have thought about purchasing one and mailing it anonymously but, as the nearest neighbor, I would still be highly suspect. (thanks about my kids and my super but annoying dog) which brings me to Sabrina--YES, she is a bichon and YES she can be annoying but we are beating it out of her. These dogs tend to be a bit nuerotic and six would just be plain crazy! I can see how they would set one another off. Mine tries to be like the rest of us (and a cat) so it's mostly a good thing.

January 1, 2009 at 1:34 PM

I would call the cops and have the animal control people sent out to talk to the owners about the noise problem. My friends had that done and were given an ultimatum finally. They actually got rid of their dog because they didn't want him in the house. Here it is tricky because we go to church with just about every neighbor. ugh

January 1, 2009 at 1:57 PM

Stand outside and bark at your neighbor's bedroom window during their bedtime.

I have a barking neighbor dog too--drives me batty.

January 1, 2009 at 2:07 PM

Hi Barbara Joy! Are you reading this?

January 1, 2009 at 2:12 PM

Kazzy--that must really be the pits! It can be fun, too, when everyone shares your basic beliefs and culture but it can be a bit daunting, too. (I have never lived in Utah but once lived on a street surrounded by ward members). Heather--now that's an idea! Maybe I should bring my dog out and let her do it, huh?

January 1, 2009 at 2:13 PM

We have a dog, a boxer, and if she even growls at someone coming to the door she is sent to her bed! No growling allowed let alone barking! How irritating! My sister's neighbors have 2 dogs that bark CONSTANTLY! There are noise ordinances for neighborhoods, and a barking dog does fall into that category.

On the other hand, have you been paint balling lately? I hear it's REALLY fun! I believe they would be easy to come by in your neighborhood, and the roof would be a fun place to try it's range of distance from.

I'm just saying, you have two choices, either that or hire someone to take the dog really far away. Find yourself a "Newman" or "Kramer".

January 1, 2009 at 2:43 PM


January 1, 2009 at 3:13 PM

Man, we haven't had to deal with that in ages.. sorry, (though you always make me laugh LOL)

I am kinda lost at your post on my blog, did you figure out how to do the RSS feed thing? If that is it, then cool! I have been reading, just not replying to everyone. Happy New year!

January 1, 2009 at 3:36 PM

Try a squirt bottle. Whenever the dog barks, go to the other dog house, knock on the door and when the owner opens the door, explain the situation, squirt them briefly in the face, and say "no bark!" firmly.

January 1, 2009 at 4:36 PM

BAD title to your post.
Almost didn't read it.
Bad, bad, bad, bad, bad ...

Happy New Year.

January 1, 2009 at 4:53 PM

April, such creative and excellent suggestions! Thanks! I will deff take those under consideration. Kristina, not sure if you are suggesting poison or questioning my moral fiber upon my implied suggestion of it. Either way, clever. Stacey--bear in mind what I did was complicated, else I would have figured it out on my own long ago. Thanks to Miss Poison (aka Kristina P) I got it all figured out. Jami--you win, hands down! I'm laughing so much tears are rolling down my face and I have to say, it isn't easy to make me laugh like that (unless you write for TV--I'm easy when there's visuals). Rott! Oh, Rott! I wasn't thinking! What a bad girl I am! So sorry!! (but, hmm, now that we are on the subject, maybe you can come and chase old barky out of the neighborhood.)

January 1, 2009 at 5:23 PM

Sorry, no suggestions. We live so apart from our neighbors out here that barking, neighbor dogs are hardly an issue.

This is what scares me about getting a dog. We've been thinking that we need to at some point, but I don't want to deal with yapping. How did you pick out a good one?

January 1, 2009 at 7:26 PM

Have you talked to the neighbor about it?

January 1, 2009 at 7:44 PM

Alyson--the kids wanted an indoor dog and I am allergic so it had to be a small hypo-allergenic dog (she has hair not fur). Plus, it had to be good looking (that's the only reason any of these people are still in my house). She was a bit of a nuisance the first couple of years but bichons are highly trainable. You really have to be consistent, though, b/c it is just as easy to train them "wrong" as right, easier in fact. They are hardwired to be people pleaser's though, so that really helps. Heather--I actually sent an anonymous letter to these people and another neighbor (their yards backed onto each other and those dogs just got each other going constantly--it was crazy!)explaining the problem a couple of years ago. The other couple were so upset about it (even tho it was a very polite letter) that they moved rather than put a bark collar on their dog (or so I heard). The dog that is still here has been pretty good ever since except when nobody is home. I suspect they are out of town and have no idea how out of control their dog is being. Calling the police is pointless too since they aren't home. It does bark other times but usually during the day or if at night, it gets quiet fairly fast. We have tried yelling at the dog, talking to it, telling it to shut up but it doesn't care. Poor thing is probably cold--I hope somebody is feeding it.

January 1, 2009 at 9:26 PM

That is the whole thing with a noise ordinance. You need to call your City Hall (not the police) and ask what the ordinance is on barking dogs. They will probably have a code enforcement officer issue citations for the barking dog. How do I know this? The hubby is a "Community Developer" and actually wrote city ordinances for the last town we lived in.

Have dates, times and how long the barking occurred.

But the paint gun sounds like more fun!

January 1, 2009 at 10:52 PM

We were in the same situation as you are just a month ago. Our neighbor's dog barked it's head off all the time. We have dog-owner superiority complex because our 120pound lab is not a barker,while the neighbor's itty-bitty dog barks up a storm all the time. I don't know what we did to get the message across that we hate their dog and their guts because they just upped and moved away one day and now the house is for sale and it's all quiet. No, we didn't do anything mean that I know of...Hmmm...I'll let you know when I remember :-)

January 2, 2009 at 12:20 AM

Ah yes... barking dogs... gotta hate 'em. ;) So sorry you're having such disturbances. I could trade you the barking dog for two screaming neighbors (obscenities included). Interested? Shoot. Didn't think so.


January 2, 2009 at 12:33 AM

Got no advice for the barking dog problem. I was the (previous) owner of one such mutt. However, given the gravity of the barking situation, we actually found a much better home for the dog. I like to think that all pet owners should follow in my footsteps. (Or am I saying this simply because I wasn't the dog's #1 fan...hmmm...)

Love the newly redesigned site. Much easier to navigate and learn more about your book. Your fans thank you.


January 2, 2009 at 6:12 AM

April--yes, we can absolutely do that and we should. Thanks! Marivic, it's okay, you can email me privately, I promise I won't tell anyone about the rat poison or the paint balls or the BB gun. bwwahhhaahhaaa! Cindy, honestly, I'm tempted. How often do they scream at night? Francesca--thank you! This is my template from before I went all Christmasey. If I could just figure out how to get the date in that little box in the upper left hand corner, I would be so darn happy!

January 2, 2009 at 10:45 AM

Hahahaha! My hubby has the most hilarious story about trying to poison the neighbor's dog when he was a little kid...

I hope our adorable Sheltie doesn't wind up on anybody's hate list this season, but you never know....

January 2, 2009 at 12:20 PM

One wonders, if they aren't home, why they didn't do something different with the dog. If they aren't home to catch you, whats stopping you. . .:)

January 2, 2009 at 1:50 PM

all I have yo say is... Poor Puppy!
Is it really the puppy's fault he's outside barking all night/morning/midday long? Or his owners? I blame OWNERS!
Have you tried phoning a bylaw officer?

January 2, 2009 at 3:30 PM

Jana, I would love to hear said hilarious story! Eowyn, exactly! In fact, they have the big dog in the back (about 6X10 space) a big dog in the house and a host of little dogs, also in the house. I think the dog outside it trying to tell his friends to LET HIM IN! Abra--yes, it's just that this only happens about twice a year, at least, this seriously, but I since it ruins every single Christmas vacation, I think we will have to do something. Actually, I will confess that the Spouse went over there last night and threw pebbles at the dog until he stopped barking. We haven't heard boo from him since. He also looked through the windows and identified the other dogs in the house, etc. They were all barking too, we just can't really hear them over the outside dog. No idea why they are in and the other is out. No idea who is feeding it, etc. I am kind of hoping someone was indeed home (but hiding) and when he/she heard/saw The Spouse pounding on the fence and throwing rocks, they got the picture. I don't know if they brought him in or if the dog just retreated, defeated, to his doghouse because it has been raining ever since. At least now we are pretty sure that the dog hates water. It's the squirt bottle next.

January 2, 2009 at 5:57 PM

I'm not a dog fan at all... something about a deathly allergy as a child - some are adorable from a distance, but that's all the doggy love I've got to share...

My neighbors also have dogs - little drop-kick yappy dogs that occasionally make me want to invest in a large scary cannibalistic dog to take care of the whole problem (and then I could of course send that dog back to its rightful home where its owners would not die of sneezing and hives!)

January 3, 2009 at 8:04 AM

My daughter stayed up late Thursday night and read your book. She loved it! She wants to be an author herself someday so she reads books a bit differently than most, but one thing she really liked about yours--besides the plot and characters, is that you were consistently in the time period. She said she has read other historical novels where the dialogue is common to the time period, but the description between the dialogue is not. So she was very impressed you were able to maintain the integrity of the story through out. Only, now for fun she has all my daughters speaking with a lisp. They think they are hysterically funny.

January 3, 2009 at 9:36 AM

T-Drat! I should have gotten me a cannabilistic dog instead of a small yappy one (tho she yaps at her own peril). Joy--you made my day! Oh, dear, that IS hysterical! Love it! Send me her address and I will send them all signed Miss D bookmarks. write2me@heidiashworth.com

January 3, 2009 at 10:19 AM

I can relate to the annoying dog story. We used to live near a family with a yippy, irritating dog. My husband spoke to the neighbors about it. Their response was to allow their dog to use our yard for it's personal toilet and not clean up after it.

We moved. (luckily it was a rental)

January 3, 2009 at 12:46 PM

Heidi--drat! See, that is one reason why I hesitate to say anything. We could never afford to re-buy our house (or any other, for that matter) so we are stuck.

January 3, 2009 at 2:45 PM

Air. Soft. Gun.

Kind of like a BB gun, but with tiny plastic pellets that if you get in a color that matches the lawn, will never get noticed.

My brother-in-law made a mixture of cayenne pepper and water. In order to ensure that it wouldn't blind the dog, he tried it on himself first.

He's fine. The dog is no longer barking.

January 3, 2009 at 10:12 PM

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