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Saga of the Barking Dogs Next Door - Livin' the Good Life

Dec. 12th, 2012

04:12 pm - Saga of the Barking Dogs Next Door

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A couple of weeks ago, our neighbor allowed one of their dogs to bark non-stop for several hours at night. I was going crazy, because I could not fall asleep to the backdrop of the dog's loud, incessant bark. It sounded like it was right outside my window. (It wasn't, but our bedroom window is directly downwind from the dog, so it sounded like it!) I went through a series of thoughts like: "How can that neighbor not hear the dog and shut him up? It must be irritating them too?" "Where's my BB gun?" "I can't tolerate this another minute!" I finally made up my mind to write them a letter, since writing is my forte. Here is what I wrote the next day, then stuck it in their chain link fence:

I am your nearest neighbor to the northeast. My husband and I have been homeowners here for 30 years. Our names are Darlene and Steve Lester. My 93 year old father lives with us, and two of our adult sons and their wives live on adjoining properties.

We have been wanting to meet you, since you are newcomers to the neighborhood. We know all of our other neighbors, and for the most part, this is a very peaceful and nice neighborhood. I walk the roads regularly for exercise, and when I noticed that your house, which had been vacant for a very long time, was occupied, I wanted to introduce myself and welcome you to the neighborhood. I didn't want to approach your house, though, without being invited, and of course, you have dogs that barked at me as I walked by. They seemed friendly enough, because they wagged their tails as they barked.

Other than introducing myself, the reason for this letter is to tell you that your dogs' barking has been bothering us, particularly at night. Last night one of your dogs barked for 3 hours straight. None of us could sleep. Your dog must be being set off by the little creatures that are active at night, as I doubt there are any intruders hanging about. I can appreciate a good watch dog that alerts you to danger, but dogs that keep barking non-stop are just doing it for fun. I know, because we had a dog years ago that barked as soon as it got dark, and he would not stop unless we made him. As soon as he started that non-stop barking, we brought him in out of consideration for the neighbors and for our own peace and quiet. Your dog abruptly stopped barking around midnight last night, so I'm assuming you brought him inside. That was great because we could all finally get some sleep! 

So, I am asking that you please bring your dogs in when they start their non-stop barking at night. We enjoy the peaceful nights here and want to continue to enjoy them. And we want to live in harmony with our neighbors. If we annoy you in any way, we expect that you will let us know about it. We are eager to resolve any problems we might create for our neighbors. 

We would like to meet you and talk to you about this, if you are willing.

Darlene Lester"

I included our phone number and my email address. That night there was blessed silence in the desert. I was so grateful, I cried. The next day, I left another letter in their fence:

"Dear Neighbor,

I so appreciate your quick response to our request to quiet your dog. Now we can sit outside in the evening and go to sleep at night with the wonderful desert silence surrounding us. As I suspected, you are good neighbors. Please do call us or email me any time, as we'd like to meet you.

I hear that you are a military family. Thank you, Sir, for your service to our country. We really value what you do for us and pray for your safety.  

We have an 18 month old grandson next door, and judging from the sound I heard once coming from your home, you must have a young one, too. Perhaps you would like to meet my daughter-in-law. She's an at-home mom. 

Again, a big  THANK YOU!!!!!!!"

Here is the response I received later that day by email:

"Hi Darlene, I'm ******, the neighbor with the really loud and over protective dogs :). I am so sorry they have been bothering you. I appreciate your letter and asking us to quiet them instead of just calling animal control. They are my babies and I love them so much."

She went on to give me some personal information and said she would really like to meet me and my grandson and daughter-in-law. She definitely could use some friends!

This is a very happy ending to a frustrating story, and I'm so glad! She has been good about quieting her dogs ever since then. Whoo hoo!!!


Date:December 13th, 2012 03:01 am (UTC)
It's all in the way you worded your letters. You have a talent for being direct and honest, yet kind at the same time. Your neighbors sound like nice people. It will be interesting I'm sure to get to know them. I hope you give us an update.

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Date:December 13th, 2012 03:36 pm (UTC)
I plan to have her over soon.
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