Barking Up the Wrong Tree

Random Chick deals with a neighbor’s dog that won’t stop barking.

About a month ago, I was out in our front yard with my kids. They were riding their scooters around while I was pulling weeds. I know, I get to do all the fun stuff while my poor kids are forced to enjoy the sunshine and the wind in their hair. But that’s another story. Our next-door neighbor drove up and pulled into her drive way. When she got out of the car she had with her a little puppy.

My daughter immediately emitted a sound like women make at a baby shower when the mommy-to-be opens up a little outfit with bunnies all over it (awwww!), then she ran for my neighbor and the puppy. We spent a few minutes cooing and petting the cute furry black and tan puppy. Our neighbor told us that her kids surprised her for her birthday with a puppy. After I extracted my daughter from the dog, I went back to weeding and the kids went back to their scooters.

Two weeks later we were out in our back yard having a BBQ. Our neighbors were gone somewhere and the puppy was in their yard barking up a storm. Now, I’m going to make this clear so no one gets the wrong idea. I like dogs. In fact, we are considering adding one to our family but this is dependent on whether or not my children will contribute to taking care of it so we probably won’t get one. While I enjoy spending time with “man’s best friend,” I do not enjoy the bark of certain dogs. I’m talking about that bark that seeps into your ears, pierces your auditory nerves, and travels down your spine like a million little mosquito bites. No matter what you do to ignore the barking or drown out the sound, it still makes the hair on the back of your neck stand on edge. That is the bark of my neighbor’s new puppy.

At first, I tried to chalk up the incessant barking to the fact that it was just a puppy and that it was adjusting to life with its new family. But it continued. One weeknight evening at around 8 o’clock it appeared that our neighbors were gone and had once again put the puppy out in the backyard, and it was barking. This wouldn’t have been a problem except for the fact that our children go to bed at 8 p.m. As I was putting my children to bed they both commented on the loud barking. We read books then I tucked them in and said good night. Ten minutes later, my daughter came out of her room complaining that she couldn’t sleep because of the barking. I put a fan in her room and turned it on to cover the noise. Fifteen minutes later, I heard my son crying in his room. I went to check on him and he said the barking was making his head hurt and he couldn’t sleep. This was getting annoying like telemarketing calls, taxes, and bunions. 

Then, I got the mother of all migraines this past weekend. For those of you who have never had a migraine headache let me attempt to articulate what they feel like so you can understand. First you need a hot poker and some habanero sauce. Take the sauce and squirt it in your eyes then, take the hot poker and jam it in your ears. Now do this for approximately 10 hours and you’ll have a very good idea of what it is to experience a migraine. I was reeling from the pain in my dark room when the barking began and continued for a hour straight. I imagined myself jumping the fence, picking up the dog by its tail, and hurling it as far as I could. I wouldn’t really do that. I’d just kick the dog because I’d be afraid it would attack me. Seriously, I’m kidding. The amount of pain I was in, however, prevented me from moving or breathing.

Now I have a plan. I am going to go to my neighbor’s house this evening and politely mention that their dog barks constantly while they are gone. I will restrain myself from asking them if they could move to Nebraska, or at the very least ship their dog to Alaska. If that doesn’t work then I’m going to have to get tough and buy a bunch of doggie treats.  


(Photo: Perfecto Insecto)

Lauren Edwards May 04, 2011 at 02:43 AM
Ouch. I related to the barking-during-migraine part. Sounds like a case for Cesar Millan, the dog whisperer. http://amzn.to/s6m6k
gwen May 04, 2011 at 03:03 AM
They need to find a home for that poor puppy where it will get the love and attention it needs. They are raising a neurotic dog that will eventually be put to sleep. What were her children thinking?? They should not give a puppy to someone with a busy schedule, who has no intention on changing her lifestyle to accommodate a baby dog. My guess is that she did not ask for it, doesn't really want it, but doesn't want to hurt her kid's feelings by giving it away. Try recording the barking from your home, so she can appreciate how loud it is. Keep a record of when it starts and stops for a few days, perhaps rally a few annoyed neighbors to your cause, then present her with the evidence. Good luck...as a back up, you can mention the city 'dog bark ordinance'.
Robin Rees May 04, 2011 at 09:12 PM
I also am having problems with neighbors' barking dogs. When we moved into CV the two dogs across the street have access to the small street yard. This yard is fenced and has a rod iron gate. When the students are going back and forth from the near-by schools the two dogs attach the gate trying to get out. Then the neighbor's next to us got a big dog that lives in their yard. Their children seem to have stopped using their back yard and the poor dog barks to join them in play out front which is not fenced. Then this week at 6 AM the dog started barking. The dog became more ferocious every time someone jogged, walked, or cycled past. The dog stands right under our bedroom window because that is the only place where it can view the street. After a half hour I went next door and rang and knocked until someone answered. They had slept through the barking because their bedrooms are on the other side of the house. I requested they quiet the dog or have it under neath their bedroom window. "Please fence off the dog's access to under our window." Will it work? I do not know. But that ruined another morning.
Dana Leipold May 10, 2011 at 06:20 PM
UPDATE: I ended up talking with my neighbor and she was VERY nice about it. I'm not sure what she did with the dog but it has been nice and quite over the past two weeks. I didn't realize how much I missed the peace and quite until it was gone. I know these situations don't always turn out for the best but I feel lucky that my neighbor was receptive to my request. I plan on getting her a nice "thank you" gift.
Jason Aric Cobb March 13, 2014 at 12:53 AM
i have a neighbor that is dog sitting 2 pit bulls and 3 puppys.. He leaves for extended periods.. and the dogs never shut up. I tried to see if there was something out there that was making them bark like that. I didn't see anything. But its driving myself nuts.. And my grandmother who has Alzhiemers and Dementia. She has already called the cops on him several times. I too get migraines.. I'm hoping i don't get one tonight.


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