Wednesday, January 15, 2020
To complain or not to complain
We are still dealing with neighbor dog(s) barking. This is mainly due to their newest dog (a 3 yr old lab), they got several months ago. If you may recall, when we bought our property they had 3 dogs (all big). They have a very large fenced in area attached to a door on the side of their house (facing our property) with a doggy door. The dogs can go in and out 24/7. Then they got another dog (a puppy, same breed as one of their other dogs) At one point, that first summer they had 6 dogs, because they were caring for their son's 2 dogs. Then the son's dogs went home and one of their dogs passed away, so back to 3 dogs. This was before we started building. Then the first summer we started building they had their son's 2 dogs again for several months. Last summer/fall they had their son's dogs again (because this time they were putting in a yard and didn't want their dogs on it). Finally last fall they got back to 3 dogs and everything calmed way down. Then shortly after that they decide to take this trouble lab some lady wanted to get rid of. We've been listening to it ever since they got it. During the time they had 5 dogs last summer, and it got bad again, we asked if they would use the bark collars they said they had. That took care of it pretty well. (not to mention our covenants for these 7 lots state 2 dogs are allowed)
Finally, a month and a half or so ago I asked if they could try using the bark collar, with this new dog. They did (they actually put them on new dog and one that rarely barks, LOL) and quickly seemed to take care of the problem - when they use it. Obviously this week they haven't been using it. A little while back DH and Mr exchanged cell ph#'s and sometimes Mr. will text Dh to ask how the dogs were doing (when they were trying out the bark collar on the new dog) while he was gone. DH would tell him all good, when the collar is on, not good when it's not. But, Mr. hasn't asked for a week or two.
We are SO tired of complaining to them about the dogs. Mostly it's just the new dog, but after awhile of barking, he gets one of the other one's riled up, so he joins in. They are both gone most of the day. She works and is gone like 10-11 hours and he's got part time jobs here and there and is usually gone a good part of all day. So, the dog barks. Not for hours and hours at a time (though he has done that a few times), but enough that it sure is annoying. They always act like they will fix the problem and use the bark collar but then if when we bring it up again...because guess what? he's barking and has no bark collar on...the excuse is "Mr. forgot to put it on before he left". Again, we are just tired of having to constantly bring it up with them. They don't have to listen to the barking, so obviously no big deal to them. When one of them is home, the dogs are usually fine when they are outside and if they do start barking (which they do sometimes) then one of them comes right outside and tells them to stop. (I'm assuming because they don't like to listen to it either) Do they think they don't bark when they aren't home? We get that Mrs doesn't like the bark collars, we don't either, but then figure out another way to fix the issue. Of course we realize there will always be some barking - that is just normal for dogs, when their people come home, or when someone pulls into our neighborhood, that kind of thing. But this constant barking for no reason (other than he's bored and misses his humans) has got to stop.
We don't have an outside kennel for our dogs, but if we did and we were going to be gone, we wouldn't leave them outside if we knew they barked. If we leave for a few hours they stay in the house. I suppose if they weren't that trustworthy we'd just keep them in the laundry room, out of the rest of the house (but they are fine to be left alone once in awhile). I would never subject others to my dogs being a nuisance. It drives me nuts when our older dog barks when someone comes here. While he stops soon after he gets his hello's out of his system, it still drives me nuts. If I know in advance the person will be here soon, I will shut them in a bedroom until the person gets inside. Then I will let them out, old barker gets allowed to have his quick hello barks and he's done. But if for some reason he's keeping it up (rarely) I will make him go in the bedroom again, with the door shut. I don't want him annoying people, even in my own home.
Since we've been dog owners while being home with them during the day and been dog owners when we worked outside the home, I can tell you it's a big difference in the behavior of the dogs. I follow a dog rescue place on Facebook and I can see why when they adopt their rescues out, they make sure the owner or one of the owners, if a couple, either works from home or is retired. They will not adopt out if someone is gone all day. Our dogs get the attention (and discipline) they need, they get the exercise and mental stimulation they need, by us being home with them during the day. We also own 2 big dogs, one of them high energy, one medium energy level (though lower energy now that he's 11). Neighbors have 2 of a high energy breed, 1 medium and 1 low (only because she's very old now). Those dogs do not get the attention or exercise/activity level they need with Mr & Mrs. - at all. Mr and Mrs get up at like 3:30 each morning. It's too dark out still for hours to do anything with the dogs and Mrs leaves for work before light anyway. Mr sometimes does have to leave before light. She gets home between 5:30 and 6:10pm. Mr. varies, but usually home by early afternoon. They literally go to bed like 7pm.
But again, neither DH or I like to be complaining to them about it AT ALL. It's stressful to listen to and it's stressful to us to have to keep bringing up to them. DH and I were just sitting here in my office discussing what to do about it. We aren't going to keep complaining. DH isn't going to go out there and keep trying to give the dog attention (like he has tried most days), we aren't going to keep living with it. We have this absolutely amazing lovely home, in a lovely little "neighborhood" (Seven 2 acre lots), with the next nearest neighbors a mile away (and that will never change as the rest is state/fed land). We aren't going to spend our days in this lovely home/property listening to dogs bark all the time. We spent too much money on this place to live like this.
We decided I'd try talking to neighbors, one more time, this evening after she gets home from work (sometimes we call, but often it's a quick text or email about it) on the phone. DH said I should be the one. His tone comes across bad, he thinks. I'm usually sweeter and nicer (unless it's email, LOL). I will ask them what they think is reasonable for the situation and what amount of barking they think is reasonable, so that we know where we stand, we don't have to keep complaining, and we can make a decision on what we will do. If daily (because they are gone quite bit on weekends too) barking is what we will have to be dealing with then we can make a decision if this is where will stay living.
DH walks back downstairs and gets a text, from Mr. Wow, that was coincidental timing! He says, he's been gone all day, they've been leaving the bark collars off, how is dog doing? DH said "well, let's just say we can tell the bark collar is not on, it's been pretty miserable". He replied back that when he has to leave for part of the day, he's been taking dog with him (I guess just leaving him in his car? brrrr!), but today he had to be gone all day, so they left him, and thought he'd be ok without the bark collar. DH also then said one of the other dogs has been joining in, too. He replied back "I'm so sorry! The bark collars will be back on!". So, at least we didn't have to be the one's to bring it up again and it was at least good that he asked how it's going. I know they mean well, and they are both so nice, which is another reason why we hate to be the complainers. But, honestly I know they wouldn't like to listen to it all day!
So, I guess for now we'll see how the next round of "we'll keep the bark collar on" will go.......