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Mad Scientess Jane Expat

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The trials and tribulations of home ownership. [20091226|16:13]
Mad Scientess Jane Expat
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[the weather today is |i am a bad person.]

I have a confession to make. I try very hard not to dislike, despise or linger on retributive emotions regarding fellow denizens of the planet. However.

I hate our neighbour's dog. I spent three hours this afternoon in the sunshine, working in the garden to prepare a spot for our shed. It wasn't warm, but it should have been pleasant to be doing something active, with the kittens frolicking around my feet, after two days of sitting inside and eating. Instead, my enjoyment of the affair was marred by the continuous barking of our neighbour's dog, who spends most of his days cooped up on the patio, going mental. I'm not exaggerating when I say "continuous". I mean he didn't stop for breath.

I'm not that fond of small yapping dogs to start with, but this thing is the worst one I've encountered. I can't even pretend I like it when our neighbour picks it up and holds it over the section of the fence that's only 3' high for us to pet. It snaps at me because it knows I hate it.

Naturally, because I'm a dough-faced frickin' hippie pacifist, I can't even fantasize about doing something terrible to this dog to assuage the loathing. My brain just freezes up and says, "No, it's not his fault, he's just a stupid animal." Instead, I fantasize about our neighbour moving away, or about the dog suddenly being transferred to an owner who will give it what it needs: some discipline and 15 walks a day to burn off its energy.

This brings me to my New Year's Resolutions. No, they're not "Be kinder to animals" or "Forgive my neighbours their trespasses." It is simply not possible for me not to hate this dog, nor to stop judging my neighbour for failing to care for it in what I deem to be the appropriate fashion. (Or to fix the fence panels when the dog eats bits of them. Because it's "our fence" - neighbour couldn't afford to erect a fence so the previous owners of our house did it - it's our job to repair the dog's damage to it. Grrr.)

My resolutions are:

  1. Fix the fence on that side so that the entire thing is blocked off with 6' panels. Preferably made of carbon-fibre-reinforced polymer. Because it would be hilarious to see the dog bounce off of them.
  2. Wear earplugs when working in the garden.
linkReply

Comments:
[User Picture]From: saltdawg
2009-12-26 16:49 (UTC)

http://www.petpetsupplies.com/peoubacopb.html

When I worked third shift, the neighbors dog drove me to the brink. I wish there were such things as the device in that link back then.
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[User Picture]From: nanila
2009-12-28 20:10 (UTC)

Re: http://www.petpetsupplies.com/peoubacopb.html

Wow, a practical and devious solution to the problem! I wasn't expecting that. Thank you very much.
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[User Picture]From: returntosender
2009-12-26 17:29 (UTC)
You're not a bad person. It never fails to frustrate me how many people fail to understand the basic RESPONSIBILITY owning a dog entails.
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[User Picture]From: nanila
2009-12-28 20:12 (UTC)
This dog is a Jack Russell. It needs SO MUCH exercise and it never gets it. So of course, it's insane. Sigh.
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[User Picture]From: victorine
2009-12-26 18:27 (UTC)
Omce again, my brain goes to dark and devious places. is there a device that can record the dog barking and then play it back really loudly, aimed at the neighbor's house? Hmmm. I wonder how Bad Dog Owner would like listening to precious doggie barking steadily through the night. Or record the kittens meowing and play that back! And then you can say, Aren't the kitties cute? Ooh ooh! Then record a friend's BABY crying and then a Dingo etc etc. Lol!
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[User Picture]From: nanila
2009-12-28 20:12 (UTC)
Ah, those are good fantasies. I will indulge in those as well. Thanks!
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[User Picture]From: cataragon
2009-12-26 22:26 (UTC)
Does Britain have animal control/noise laws you could invoke?

Otherwise the earplugs sound an excellent plan.

Poor dog, though, it's probably miserable.

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[User Picture]From: doccy
2009-12-27 09:07 (UTC)
Yup, there's noise pollution laws - Nanila? I think this may help?
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[User Picture]From: nanila
2009-12-28 20:19 (UTC)
Thank you! I think we might try the strategy your link suggests - employing the carrot (a judicious visit with some baked goods and a bottle of wine) before the stick (phoning the council).
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[User Picture]From: nanila
2009-12-28 20:14 (UTC)
The dog has so much energy. I think it probably needs a long walk every morning & evening and it just never gets it.

Funnily enough, it's been quite quiet for the past three days - I suspect visiting family members have taken it upon themselves to take the dog out to the park.
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[User Picture]From: slutbunwalla
2009-12-27 04:03 (UTC)
a barking dog is the kind of atmospheric strain that builds to a sudden snapping point in me, I won't exactly consciously realize what it making me increasingly bitchy and annoyed until I comprehend that the dog next door has been barking for 15 minutes without stopping. And then I can't get past the sound and it fills up all the auditory comprehension space in my head. And of course that's just the beginning of its barking period. What sucks is there's nothing you can really do, since as you said, barking is more of a symptom of the owner's care and handling.

I wouldn't pet it, when offered over the fence. I wouldn't pretend to pet it, I wouldn't look at it, maybe make some small talk with the neighbor but otherwise ignore the dog. Small dogs end up with all the power in their homes because they are tiny and cute which makes them tyrants. It needs to know you're not falling for it. It's not even the dog's choice to have you pet it, if they're picking it up and over the fence (which doesn't help in the establishment of what the fence is there for either) so the dog may not want it either!

uh...Sorry for the tome. :^/
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[User Picture]From: chibaraki
2009-12-27 18:47 (UTC)
a barking dog is the kind of atmospheric strain that builds to a sudden snapping point in me, I won't exactly consciously realize what it making me increasingly bitchy and annoyed until I comprehend that the dog next door has been barking for 15 minutes without stopping.

This, seriously. I had a neighbor whose puppy yipped constantly (when did dogs discover circular breathing? This fucker did not pause) basically every second it was home alone, leading to HOURS of nonstop barking. I tended to spend these hours in a blind rage. I love dogs, they are my favorite animal, but I fantasized about busting into my neighbor's apartment, opening the window, and hurling the dog onto the roof of the passing bus. And listening as the yipping faded into the distance.
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[User Picture]From: nanila
2009-12-28 20:22 (UTC)
You know what's frustrating? There's a huge grassy common (basically a park) a mere ten minute walk from our house. And that's walking slowly. This place is massive, well fenced, well tended and lightly used. It would be so easy for the dog to have two long walks every day. Also, said neighbour doesn't work, so has plenty of time to do it. ARGH.
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[User Picture]From: nanila
2009-12-28 20:26 (UTC)
I think you're right. I will try to ignore the dog when speaking to the neighbour across the fence, because it's when I notice its existence that it gets picked up and passed over. Thanks!
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[User Picture]From: slutbunwalla
2009-12-29 03:52 (UTC)
good luck. I feel your pain.

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[User Picture]From: wiggyfish
2009-12-28 02:40 (UTC)
Urgh. I don't remember if I wrote about it, but a while back I stopped a car that was about to run over my neighbor's awful dog. This would be the shrill-voiced awful dog that freaks the hell out every time she sees me, every time there's any noise (right down to putting a key in a lock) on my side of the house, and every time her simpleton owner leaves home.

Said awful dog was in danger of getting run over because (a) her simpleton owner always puts the leash on AFTER they leave the enclosed porch, and (b) the dog has very complex feelings about me and was running hell-for-leather towards me with god knows what purpose in mind. I looked up, calculated trajectories, and stopped the oncoming car. And I've regretted it ever since. I can't fantasize about hurting an animal either, and I'd probably have been scarred for life if that hateful creature had been killed right in front of me, and I still suspect I chose poorly.
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[User Picture]From: nanila
2010-01-07 10:04 (UTC)
I don't recall reading an entry about it here. You chose the better option both for your conscience and for the dog, I'm sure. It's just a shame that doing the right thing doesn't equate to increased happiness.
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