Wednesday, September 07, 2005

In the Dog House

Our dog has problems. He has had a condition known as Separation Anxiety (SA) for as long as we have owned him, which is going on a year and a half now. We suspect his previous owners were pretty shitty, and the shelter system probably didn’t agree with him either, hence he’s a bit off kilter. We have tried many, many things to convince him that it really won’t kill him to be alone for a few hours, including three different prescription drugs and consulting a professional dog trainer. While I like to be optimistic and think that his lack of recent suicidal/escape attempts is a positive sign, I know our neighbors are probably annoyed with the crying and the barking. It’s hard for me to say how bad it really is, as I am never home when he’s making a ruckus. Such is the nature of the beast.

I’ve pretty much resigned myself to keeping up our routine and hoping it would peter out over time with the treatment, and don’t give a whole lot of thought to it any longer because if I did it would drive me insane. But it would appear one our neighbors has a problem. There was an anonymous post near the mailboxes when we came home last night that went something like

WILL THE OWNERS OF THE DOG AT THE END OF THE HALL KEEP HIM FROM BARKING AT ALL HOURS OF THE DAY AND NIGHT

IF THIS DOES NOT STOP WE WILL CALL THE CITY

This is paraphrased from memory, but you get the gist. I understand that my dog may be an annoyance, and I feel badly about that. But this just pissed me off for several reasons:

1. It was anonymous.
I firmly believe that neighbors should talk to each other if they have problems to work out. I know, it’s old fashioned, but I think it just might work if everyone can be adult enough to have a reasonable conversation about whatever is bothering them.

2. It was posted in a public area of the building.
We can only assume it is our dog they were referring to, but our dog is not the only chronic barker in the building. He may be the worst offender for all I know, but we had to guess based on “end of the hall” and the fact that the note appeared when we came home after we were out for the evening. Pathetically, we almost never go anywhere at night, so our neighbors are usually spared the racket during the evening hours. When we do go out, we often place him with our neighbors for dog sitting, but this is not always possible.

3. It’s greatly exaggerated
Our dog only makes noise when we are not home, and I can assure you that is not all hours of the day and night. In fact, Jason is able to be home with Dexter most of the day while I’m at work. Dexter’s alone time is usually limited to a couple of hours a day.

To sum it up, these people chose to post an inflammatory, rude, anonymous note making a threat against their neighbors rather than make themselves and their problem known in a constructive manner. I called my landlady this morning, whom we have a rather good relationship with, and she said no one has contacted her about a barking dog problem in the building, although she did mention that there is a new tenant. I suspect it is the newbie who posted the note. All our other neighbors must be used to whatever it is that Dexter does while we’re gone and it either doesn’t bother them or it doesn’t bother them enough to make a fuss about it because I certainly think they would have done so by now.

While it was tempting to post a snarky retort to the anonymous, threat-making coward, we took the high road and posted a tasteful note explaining that our dog has a condition and that we’re doing all we can to correct it. We signed our names and apartment number and invited whoever had a problem to come and speak to us directly about it.

Whoo, needed to get that off my chest. Rude people suck. Also, Dexter pooped on the carpet yesterday and this morning. I hope he isn’t sick again. Maybe his nerves are getting to him. *sigh*

/rant

8 Comments:

Blogger GlitterGlamGirl05 said...

Poor Dexter. Have him pee on your neighbors door to make up for them being mean.

11:53 AM  
Blogger tabitha jane said...

rude neighbors who are also cowards suck to the second power!

12:01 PM  
Blogger Leah said...

We once had a note like that but we knew who did it and sent them evil death ray looks when we saw them. They were new, we were there for YEARS, they wrote a shitty little note, and we hated on them forever.. Then they moved :) and we won hahahahaha

Maybe it's just something about CA wherein people have a problem confronting people and would just rather do it anonymously because they are shy a-holes.

2:14 PM  
Blogger Aarwenn said...

THIS is why I had to move out of my fancy apartment in Seattle. And why I never want to have an apartment again, ever. Unless all the people in the other units are cool. And they never are. In fact, this story brings up actual feelings of death towards the two people in my life who have done that to me--I would happily drive over and beat them to a bloody pulp, right now, if I could. Leah, you're not out of line--I will DEFINITELY hate on my bad neighbors forever! Mean, intolerant people SUCK!

9:52 AM  
Blogger Shananigans said...

So here’s an update (if anyone is interested, which you may not be but hey, not much else going on here so I’ll just post a short novel in the comments here) I'm so glad everyone is on my side  I think everyone has had shitty neighbors at some point. As apartment buildings go the one I live in is OK. I’d prefer to live in a house, but my salary + the LA housing market = apartment living for me. It's only 12 units and all the tenants I've gotten to know are cool. But the apartment right next to mine seems to be cursed, maybe by us, I don’t know. The first people to move out of that unit since we moved here in March had lived there since the place was built (’93 I think) and moved to another unit down the hall. They are very reclusive, but a pain in the ass according to the landlady. Apparently they think they can tell her how to run the place and who can move in. The next tenants (a young couple with a beautiful white German Shepherd doggie) moved out after only a couple months for a job in San Jose. I haven’t seen anyone move in next door, but there have been sightings of a middle-aged Asian lady and a Korean newspaper arriving daily for #205. The consensus in the building is that the new tenant probably is the one with an issue here. There’s a couple in one of the downstairs units the keeps their two boxers on their back patio a lot and I’ve heard one of the dogs barking late at night lately. I found out through the grapevine that one of the dogs was just diagnosed with bladder cancer and the guy’s family in New Orleans just lost everything in the hurricane. The building has had some issues with them in the past because the girl works too much and her boyfriend is too busy being a slacker semi-unemployed DJ to be all that good at pet ownership (they used to let the dogs use the patio as a bathroom, and I’ve never seen those dogs taken out for a walk). But man, those are some rough times. I think we should all cut them some slack. One thing about apartment living, there’s bound to be plenty of gossip and drama. At least it keeps me from boredom.

9:54 AM  
Blogger Beans said...

Dexter has stress and anxiety. You should take him over to the new neighbors to relieve that stress and anxiety.
Our upstairs neighbors dog is a chronic barker but I take it because I play my music pretty loud. Everyone wins, or loses, however you may see it.

12:40 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Does Dexter respond to negative operant conditioning?
Do you consider a shock colar cruel?

11:20 AM  
Blogger Aarwenn said...

Thanks for the update--I WAS curious!

And I'd like you to know that, yesterday afternoon as I was sitting on my rear for the three short hours I had free for the ENTIRE week...there were kids running up and down and SCREAMING outside. Terrible noise. After a few minutes I stood up and walked to the front door, ready to yell at them. And then I stopped. "Well, I probably play my music too loud," I said out loud to myself, and went back to my book. They didn't bother me after that. Were they not screaming, or had I just successfully altered my own viewpoint? Who knows? But this post reminded me that tolerance and understanding are key.

1:38 PM  

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