It’s a Dog’s Life


What is it about dogs?  In my long life, I have lived in too-close proximity to barking dogs, biting dogs, dogs that get in the trash cans, and dogs that poop and dig holes in the yard.  A dog killed my chicken, and another dog killed my cat.

I have been known to drive up a neighbor’s driveway at 3 a.m., blowing my horn and banging on the door until the dog owner answered.  I have yelled loud enough to be heard over the still-barking dog, which had a habit of keeping me awake for hours every night.  Those neighbors soon moved away, but in karmic retaliation, new neurotic neighbors with two barking dogs moved in.  The Yapper and the Woofer have prompted this complaint.

There are advantages to having neighbors who believe you are crazy.  Being crazy is easier than calling the police.  If I called, and police came at all, I imagine they would keep me awake even longer asking questions and filling out forms, and finally, not solving the problem.  No.  Police are worse than useless in situations like this.

From my perspective, there is nothing good about dogs, but other people like them, and they are legal, unlike my roosters.  Before I got roosters who like to crow, I was more likely to call neighbors to complain about their barking dogs.  Now, I have to play nicer, because the roosters are sort of illegal, meaning the county has decided not to enforce the anti-rooster ordinance unless neighbors object.

So, I’ve visited neighbors and asked them to let me know first if the roosters bother them.  Most don’t hear anything.  Those who do say they like the countrified sound of roosters crowing, so we are safe for now, as long as I keep the dogs away.

Speckles crowing

My most effective dog-control strategy so far has been to bypass dog owners and develop a relationship with the dogs themselves.  When barking has continued too long, I start commiserating, telling the dogs how sorry I feel for them.  Their owners must really hate them, I yell, and I can understand why.  There is nothing good about dogs.  They are obnoxious and have no life.  I’ll bet their owners don’t feed them or give them water.  They are mean, neurotic people.  Poor dogs.

This has been known to quiet the dogs a few minutes.  Then I praise them, saying they are capable of learning something, after all.  They have at least one redeeming feature.  “Good dogs,” I say.  This gets them barking, again, but the barking doesn’t last long.

Then the roosters start crowing.







15 thoughts on “It’s a Dog’s Life

  1. feistyfroggy

    This may be a bad time to mention that I have three dogs that bark. They are a security measure. I try not to let them bark at all hours, but if they do there might be a problem.

    1. katharineotto Post author

      Not at all. My sister and best friends all have dogs. The upshot of my tirade is that these dogs seem to want acknowledgement. Even yelling hateful words in a kindly tone of voice seems to gratify them. If I sound angry, it only makes them bark faster and louder.

      1. katharineotto Post author

        Thanks, Feisty. These dogs don’t seem as bad as ones in the past. Maybe I’m learning how to deal with them. The killed chicken was a long time ago. The cat was more recent.

      2. katharineotto Post author

        Thank you. Pets really know how to pull on your heartstrings. I guess children do, too, but I have no experience with that. They do teach me to love them while I have them, never knowing how long that will be.

  2. juliecroundblog

    Don’t blame the dogs for people who let them bark. We have had dogs the whole of our married life. As soon as one passes on the house seems empty and we adopt another one. They were all different and rarely barked. Maybe because I was a stay at home mum and hubby was on shift work. They don’t like being left alone. Some will bark to warn the owner of visitors but can be trained not to. It’s not the dogs that are the problem -it is owners who do not treat them properly or even encourage them to be aggressive.

    1. katharineotto Post author

      On the contrary, I’m finding developing a relationship with the dogs makes them more tolerable. We can converse between yards, discuss all our issues with humanity, and I don’t even have to feed them or take them to the vet. I figure that ultimately their people appreciate my paying attention. The barking must surely bother them, too.

  3. Rosaliene Bacchus

    I have a conflicted relationship with dogs and keep my distance. Barking dogs are great for home security but, as you well know, a nuisance for neighbors. Not-so-noisy dogs, like the pit bull, are the ones that shouldn’t be trusted.

    1. katharineotto Post author

      I keep my distance in any case. I don’t like the way they smell and slobber all over you, They wag tails and knock things off coffee tables. The want to lick your face and spill the coffee you are holding. I don’t want to vacuum dog hairs or deal with fleas.

      Then I look at my house rooster and realize he’s about to molt again and he’s noisy, too. No accounting for taste.

      Thanks for reading and for your comment.

  4. navasolanature

    Yes, dogs barking at night can be a nuisance. Thankfully at quite a distance at our Spanish home. Lots of dogs left on their own to guard or just bark in the campo. No idea really what there is to steal. Most would keep expensive tools etc back in the village. It’s only us mad dogs English and other foreigners who live alone in the woods and we live without dogs. But last night here in Portugal a dog howled. A deep long and powerful howl. Think must have been left alone. Once we would live with the wolves howling. Must have been noisy at night for the cave guys!


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s