Tuesday, October 23, 2012

I is for Impatient

I know.  It happens so rarely!  I'm usually such a patient, rational being.  But here's the thing.  I believe I've spoken before about the dogs in the house behind us?  And I believe I've mentioned that I use the term "house" rather loosely as these are townhomes (condos?), and we are all right on top of each other.  I can see into the backyards of about six other people's homes and they can all see into our little back patio space.

The woman behind me with the dogs (K) is about to get dealt with (as my husband would cheesily say). 

In case I can't find the previous post (or you don't feel like reading it), I'll recap.  She has 2 large-ish dogs.  One has curly hair and is the size of a standard poodle, the other looks to be an Alsatian mutt (think white German Shepherd).  These are not small dogs.   When the owners forget to close the dog door while they are not at home, those 2 dogs are out in their yard every few minutes barking non-stop.  And howling. 

When I initially talked to her I told this:
In the interest of full disclosure, we have a cat that spends a lot of time outside, walking along the tops of the fences, so I realize that he may be sparking some barking [I didn't actually rhyme at the time.  Ack, just did it again!].  I also want you to know that I've called Animal Control to see what my options are.  They said I needed to make note of the times and length of duration on the barking.  Here's what I have in the past week. 

I handed her the extensive list.  I explained that Animal Control also said I'd have to write a letter and have a neighbor sign as verification on that letter.  I told her that the old couple I share a wall with had complained to me about her dogs, so I asked if they'd sign and they said yes.  I said, "I asked them a week ago.  Apparently they've told others because since I asked them, I've had EIGHT people knock on my door asking if they could sign too."  I also explained that I worked from home and the company I work for has a No Tolerance For Background Noise Policy and I can't lose my job because her dogs are barking. 

This conversation took place over a year ago to try to politely ask that she keeps the barking in check.  At the time, she gave me her phone # and asked me to text if the dogs were going off and promised she'd take care of it.  I've had to text her at least once a month for the past year.

I've had to text her three times in less than 7 days now.

Last Thursday I was working and some lady was in K's backyard riling the dogs up ON PURPOSE for about 15 minutes.  I texted:
There's someone in your backyard riling up your dogs.  I wouldn't care but I'm working.

She txted back that it was a friend of hers from out of town.  The friend must've been mad about me txting because over the next hour, she'd bring the dogs out every 5 minutes and play with them.  Not letting them bark but SHE was shouting, carousing with them, and being loud.  Childish much?  She also was playing tug of war with them and the dogs were grunting and growling and she was grunting and growling back and it sounded for all the world as though they were having sex.  I just had to laugh thinking, "Lady, would you mind taking the bestiality indoors please?  There's children present!"

If you've been here at all the last year, you know that I have a 70 hour week.  I work until 11p and have to get up at 6:30a to either go to school or back to work at my little desk in our bedroom.  The ONLY night I get to go to sleep whenever I wish (and sleep in as long as I like) is Saturday night. 

Last Saturday night, those fucking dogs barked from 10p to 1a when I finally had enough and went to pound on their door.  Dave said not to bother as they obviously weren't home.  I couldn't help it.  I had to try.  It was very dark out, so I also wanted to make 100% sure it was K's dogs before I made trouble.  The lights were on but no answer.  It was her dogs, though, no mistake.   I came back to my house and texted her....
ME: Your dogs have been going off for the past 3 hours.  Seriously can't sleep with them losing it every few minutes.  Please FIX this.
K:  I am out of town.... will try to find roomate

Then a few minutes later...
K: To my knowledge there seems to be a cat in heat that is making a lot of noise late at nght and in the morning.
Me:  Can't control that.  Neither can you.   What you CAN control is YOUR dog's barking.  Get them some training, get them bark collars or muzzles.

About 10 minutes later, they shut up.

The next day she texts me:
K: Ruth, really sorry about last night.  My roommmate drank a little too much last night and didn't want to drive home... we have a bark collar so I told him if he is going to leave the pet door open that collars go on...again sorry for the inconvenience.

I just txted back - Thx.

Then today.  Oh, today. 

It's getting warm here in CO and we have to have our windows open or the upstairs cooks.  I don't know what CO's aversion to ceiling fans would be, but they are few and far btw.  The thermostat is downstairs which is ten degrees cooler than upstairs so even if we turned on the AC, it wouldn't do much for upstairs. 

So I've got our windows open and of course those fucking dogs start going off.  The really messed up thing is that they are actively barking AT US.  If we walk around in our room or when they hear us talking, they are in their backyard like a flash, barking and howling at the fence inbetween us.

I try to be patient but after 2 hours (and one customer asking if there's a dog IN THE ROOM with me), I text her again...
Me:  3rd time in less than 7 days.  My customers can hear and I will get FIRED if my boss hears or hears about it.  Patience is thinning rapidly....
K: Ruth, I have been gone all day at a conference downtown... my daughters must have forgotten to shut the dog door when they left.  I have complied and apologized for every sound they make.  They are dogs and happen to bark when they see a cat or a bird or other dogs.... it's only natural.  I can only do  my best and somtimes it's not perfect.  You complained the other night because we were playing with them in the backyard way after work hours.  I can't always manage your work hours, your windows open and when my dogs are allowed to go outside... it's not fair.  It's a residence not an office park... they have been good for a very long time.  Please try to understand it's not intentional... 
I don't like bothering peole, I'm a friendly person... but the other night outside playing with my dogs was little bit much.  What if I had small children that played outside and made noise?  I will take care of the issue like I always do... I guess the part that bothers me so much is that you are somewhat rude about it and it puts me in a defensive position.  Being friendly when issues arrive solves problems instead of making it worse.

ME:  The lady on the other side of us has 2 fat chihuahuas that fight and bark.  But after a bark or 2, she goes out there and takes care of it.  K, if it were a bark or 2 here or there then yes, dogs bark and it's a residence.  Pretty sure you know that's NOT what your dogs do.  It's the sustained, unchecked barking and  howling  off and on for hours at a time that makes me text.  If I seem rude, it may be because, to me, it seems very rude to be so careless with one's pets, allowing them to CONTINUALLY make so much noise.  They are not children, they are dogs.  If you think I'm rude now, let them bark btw 10p and 7a EVER again and we'll see if the cops think I'm rude.   How many times in the past year have we had this txt conversation??  More than once is too many and I'm done.  I'm not the only neighbor sick of hearing them.  I'm just the only one with your phone #.

I haven't heard much out of them since then.  Fingers crossed I never will again.

I wrote the above in April.  After the texting war, I never heard those dogs bark again.  AND, I'd see them in the backyard.  Previously, EVERY time they were in the backyard, they'd be barking.  After the texting war, I'd see them back there and they'd be just as silent as you please!  Then sometime in July, the dogs seem to have disappeared.  We thought maybe they moved out, but their grill and other yard stuff is still there.

Either way, I shoulda called the cops on that bitch a year ago.

Enjoying the silence, Ruth!

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