Barking Mad

Like most tenants, there are a few things that annoy me about my rented accommodation. The garage being stuffed with my landlord’s stuff, so I can’t stuff it with mine and have to pay for storage (extra rent!). The fact that only the front and back doors actually close, so I can’t shut the cats out of the bedroom or have the tidy look of actually closed cupboard doors in the nearly counter-free kitchen. The bathtub taps not working, though the shower ones do. The sad, lumpy brown lawn, no matter how much it rains. The overwhelming, oven-like heat in the house in the summer, and the drafty, refrigerator-like chill in the winter.

But the worst of all is the dogs next door.

They are two smallish, yellowish dogs who live in a fenced cement yard. No grass, no nothing. Just poop and concrete. They apparently are never allowed in the house, because I have both seen and heard them outside in the rain, though there seems to be a little door under the house which is sometimes open. Obviously, the dogs are bored and miserable – I have never seen them taken for walks or petted – and are protesting their deplorable living conditions. But understanding this does not make it easier to endure the ceaseless barking. I have to admit that my sadness at their plight is seriously tempered with bad temper from the nerve-wracking racket.

The thing I find the most incomprehensible is the owner. She is there most of the day, and is even closer to the barking epicenter than I am. Yet I have never seen or heard her admonishing them, or bring them in the house, or do anything to stop it. Once, I saw her standing in the yard, hanging out laundry as the dogs barked their heads off at her feet. No reaction whatsoever. It’s as if she’s deaf and blind. Having spoken with her, I know she’s neither. But she’s certainly blind to the well-being of her dogs. Why does she even have them, when she doesn’t interact with them? And what, if anything, should I do to avoid losing what little is left of my mind?

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10 comments on “Barking Mad

  1. Guy

    It always makes me sad to hear stories like this, abuse of animals is something our society should not accept. Unfortunately, this lady is neither deaf or blind according to you Suzy, I’m afraid it’s even worst, her Soul or Subconcious probably died years ago and nothing or nobody around her matters, how sad…..

  2. Kelly

    Are there any signs of abuse or neglect? Do the dogs appear like they aren’t being properly fed or given access to water throughout the day? If so you could call and file a complaint.

    Poor doggies (and poor you). People suck.

  3. suzy

    Guy – as always, I think you’re right.

    Kel – no, they have food & water, and one of them sported an Elizabethan collar for a month, clearly for an eye issue. So I haven’t called the Humane Society, though the minute my brother saw them, he said it was abuse. Having said that, he lives in the country, so I think he was speaking to the concrete and lack of grass and human interaction. If they are expecting these dogs to be watch dogs, well…barking constantly negates that.

    Maybe benign neglect is abuse? I don’t know. Seriously, other than the barking, I’ve been concerned about their quality of life, or lack of it.

  4. LisaB

    Isn’t it required by law that pets be sheltered? Maybe that’s my Canadian-skewed persepective… because leaving animals outside here all the time would be neglect, given the weather, but maybe not in your climate. How frustrating that someone can be so mean to their pets and force everyone to live with the unfortunate side effects.

  5. Joy Fielder

    Here in Ontario, one can complain to the Humane Society & they will check things out…..they do not give information regarding their source. This also applies if there is a noise viiolation after hours and the police are called. Wonder if you would come under the same sort of rules & regulations. I HATE animal abuse of any kind.


  6. Joy F

    PS Time to move on!


  7. Cat

    Serious! Call the humane society. That’s not cool.

  8. suzy

    Lis – They can go in the crawlspace under the house when the door is open, I *think*. BTW, I loved the postcard!!!

    I guess I’ll call the HS and let them check it out and decide what to do. Those poor puppies…

  9. meloukhia

    I’m a little late to the party here, but I hope you’ve talked to the neighbor, and mentioned that the barking is an issue? Also, perhaps you could consider getting some citronella bark collars, which are cruelty free, and do actually bring the barking level down considerably. As a fellow sufferer of barking dogs I have absolutely no control over, I sympathize with you!

  10. Kathleen

    A concrete backyard? Like everybody else, I’d call the Humane Society or ASPCA and let them make the abuse determination.

    I don’t know how people put up with non-stop barking. Kill me now. Thank God for cats.

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