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.
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.