Monday, May 11, 2009

taped to my door saturday morning

To: The _______ Family
From: Nifty Neighbor [not her real name]

May 9, 2009

At 5:35 this morning [your dog] was outside barking for almost a minute straight. That may not seem long but for a non-dog owner, it is. I was woken up by the barking could not fall back asleep and missed out on 2 hours of sleep before having to get ready and be at work this morning.

The City of ____ does have a barking ordinance ("specifically, dogs are not allowed to bark more than 30 times in a 10 minute time period") but it does not offer a specific time bracket.

[Your dog's] barking early in the a.m. has disturbed our sleep on a number of occasions in the past. It is just now that I kindly request and suggest that maybe before 8:00 a.m. and after 10:00 p.m. either keep [your dog] inside or put a muzzle on him if he goes outside.

I do not feel this request is unreasonable as I make it on behalf of a few other neighbors, who have commented to me as well. Nor, do I intend this request as mean-spirited.

Thank you for your consideration.

I sent a note back apologizing and explained that our dog got let out early because Bernie was excited about her birthday, woke up early, and let him out of her room. I felt terrible when he ran down the street barking and resolved to only take him out on the leash from now on. I expressed surprise that they had been woken by our dog "on a number of occasions." Normally he's very good about going in and out quickly. He is an indoor dog. There are many dogs in our neighborhood, some of which are outdoor quite a bit and bark when anyone goes by. I have been woken up by dogs barking in the night or early morning, but I would never think to write a note about it.

Just for some background, these are the neighbors who asked us to cut down a tree on our property that was hanging over their driveway. We did so. The very next day they asked us if they could park their boat on our property as they had no room on theirs. Guess what was keeping them from putting the boat there? The tree they asked us to cut down. We said no.

These are also the neighbors who've had a couple kid birthday parties with kids outside screaming and playing until close to midnight. It would never have occurred to me to write a note.

They are the ones who park their car in front of our house in the summer because there's a shade tree there.

I know, I know. I shouldn't let it bug me. But something like this seems to happen about every six months. If not with these neighbors, with someone else. One family told our kids they could come skate in their ice rink. My girls went over one night when there were neighborhood kids skating, and the dad told them they couldn't skate because they weren't good enough skaters to play hockey. Once my kids went out to our backyard about 10 minutes to 7 on a summer morning. They had some project they wanted to check on. (I told them they could only go out if they were silent.) A neighbor's dog started barking at them. The neighbor told my kids to go inside because their presence was making her dog bark. There have been many other incidents.

Our Chinese neighbors right next door are wonderful. We help each other out. We admire each other. But they seem to be the only ones we get along with. I have to wonder if we're the problem, since everyone else seems to get along famously.


Mama Ava said...

I always think writing a note is really passive-aggressive and really accomplishes so much less than a friendly "hi, um, this is awkward, but..." conversation.

What ruined it for me was when your neighbor was speaking "on behalf of several other people" presumably the sort that would have the time to bitch about things, but not really do anything about them.

Your neighbors don't sound very neighborly. Either your dog is barking or your kids are making other dogs bark, which I suppose means that other neighbors are thus bothered. That's too bad. They are missing out on getting to know a really great family!

Anonymous said...

Exhibit A: I won't live in the suburbs.

Ave said...

Your other neighbors may seem to get along, but they probabaly all write little notes to each other just like they do to you. Idiots. Everyone gets annoyed by barking dogs, but her sleep issues are evidently such that she wouldn't have been able to go back to sleep anyway.

Ballerina Girl said...

I know exactly where you are coming from.
We have upstairs neighbors in our building that constantly complain about our dogs barking. Sometimes I understand because it is excessive. There are times when firecrackers go off and my one dog can not stand it. Then I can understand, but then there are the other times. Times when the dog will bark two woof woofs because we just walked in the door and they are complaining.

I am sorry that your neighbors are not very nice. and if they are "talking for others"...why haven't the "others" expressed concern?

As for your children going outside....that is their right to be on their own property whatever time of the day or night they want. What happens with digs on others properties are not your problem!

Geez, it's just that this one hits close to my heart. I wish you much luck...


Dina said...

Well, now, being a "non-dog owner",(but dog lover, because we've had 2 in the past) and a terrible sleeper, the barking would annoy me too. But, only if it kept happening. Lucky for us, everyone's dogs seem to be quiet around here.

The only note we ever got was when we moved into the last neighborhood. We had a big moving truck and it was a late Friday night when we unloaded. Bright and early Sat. morning there was a note taped to our front door that said, "Welcome to the neighborhood. We have an ordinance that states you only can have a truck that size in the neighborhood for 3 days. It needs to be moved by Monday." Needless to say, I never became friends with those neighbors! Sheesh.

Sorry about your note. I'm sure you are very good neighbors! They are missing out on a great opportunity to get to know your family.

PS. We have a neighbor with an UNSIGHTLY tree right on the property line. I've considered poisoning it slowly.

Brenda said...

Ugh, so I need to look for a house far enough out to avoid THAT--wish I could take my good neighbors with me! There always seems to be ONE though anywhere.

Michelle said...

Oh my. Are they super uptight? That is just weird. I can't see how anyone wouldn't adore having your kids in the neighborhood.

I have another passive aggressive note left on the door experience. I was living with three roommates in a condo. We were on the middle floor--guys below and above us. One day, we found a note taped to the door. They complained about the toilet lid getting slammed down all the time. Seriously? We all laughed about that one.

Calandria said...

No way, Michelle! That is so funny. Maybe they were Swiss.

These neighbors do not strike me as uptight. In fact, I think I'm more uptight than they are. What amazes me is their disconnect between their requests. One day: Can we store our ginormous boat in your yard? Following spring: Your barking dog inconveniences us. Please muzzle him.

Don't get me wrong, barking dogs bug me too. But I think most people in our neighborhood (including us!) do what they can to keep it to a minimum.

Mama Ava, I agree that the worst part of the note was the "on behalf of several other people." It's like she added that in just so we know we're being talked about.

athena said...

i love hearing dogs bark (as long as they don't bite me). i didn't use to. and i like hearing children scream and music played til late. it makes me feel like our neighbourhood is alive.

dtv said...

I think they're probably just being petty. It's probably a good thing that Link and I don't live closer. We generally are very nice to our neighbors. We've done some questionable things to our friends neighbors that were annoying/petty/meat heads. Oh, now I'm laughing. I'll have to tell you about it next time we talk.

Dave Thurston said...

I didn't want to say anything, but I think that it might have been your dog that woke me on February 22. I'm not absolutely certain, but now that you've revealed so much about the loud attributes of your abode, I can only ascertain that it must have been your dog.

It has been a few months now, but I still remember my hair being messed up all day . . . and Dr. Phil just didn't seem on his game that day (do you think your dog woke him too?).

The three of us (Dr. Phil, Oprah, and I) have been talking about it and they asked me to post this comment to your blog.

We don't mind you having a dog, we just wish you could teach him to use the indoor toilet until 9am.

Oh, I (we all) understand the difficulty of training a dog to use an indoor toilet, so we've attached a coupon for you and your dog to attend dog-school. It is every night for six months.

If it is ok, we'll be using your deck and grill while you are out each evening.

Thanks and Hugs, D.

PS: Before you leave each evening, please clean your toilet - Oprah thinks that the dog isn't lifting the seat.

ProMom said...

Well, I didn't think the note was too bad. Except the part about speaking for others. Until you told us about the history you have with these neighbors. Yeah, it's the history that is the annoying part. I think people should keep their dogs from barking at me when I walk by. It's scary, I think they're going to jump out. Yeah, there are neighbors like yours in every neighborhood.

ProMom said...

Oh and I agree with Mama Ava. Face to face would be better.

Calandria said...

Funny, Dave! Maybe you guys can convince Oprah to have the next BBQ at her of her places. She's right that our dog can't lift the seat. It actually weighs more than he does.

Anonymous said...

Those are the kind of people you can never pacify. They are living in their own bubble thinking only of themselves and what bothers them and you really can NOT get through to them. Don't sweat it. Let the dog bark!!

Never thought about it before but the Dutch all seem to have dogs and I never hear them bark. Don't know what they do. I'll have to ask.