Wednesday, February 09, 2011



I've never truly lived in the suburbs before. We lived in midtown Memphis, then we moved to a suburb of Memphis, but it wasn't The Suburbs as I had seen portrayed in movies. The houses were all older and different from one another, on unevenly spaced plots of land. That was our old neighborhood.

Now, we DO live in one of those neighborhoods that looks like a movie set. Every time I hear the "Over the Hedge" version of "Rockin' the Suburbs" I laugh because it is now so familiar. Skeeter drives past our house at least once a week because everything looks so similar.

This isn't to complain because we chose to live here. There ARE good things about our neighborhood. Skeeter and I aren't really suburb types -- I like my space, and people tend to annoy me -- but the urchins have many friends and places to play, and I am satisfied with that.

Still, our neighbors are now significantly closer, and Skeeter and I are careful to have good neighbor manners, specifically where the dogs are concerned. Just like us, the dogs were accustomed to having more space and (minus the squirrels) fewer neighbors. As a result, it took them a while to get settled. They were barky outside, but we made sure to shush them every time. And they stay in our yard; we don't let them roam free. Of course, with dogs, we have the usual "doing their business" issues, which -- again -- is in OUR yard and we clean up. (I might mention that we clean it much less frequently when it's 15 degrees out and there's snow on the ground, but we DO clean it.) While we are certainly not perfect, we do make an effort to not be intrusive on others.

Some of my slightly-too-close-for-comfort neighbors don't seem to make that same effort.

One neighbor with a beautiful Great Dane lets him sit outside and bark for 20 minutes at a time. BARK BARK BARK. BARK BARK BARK. They are three doors down, and it sounds like he is sitting in my yard. You'd think it would annoy his owners just as much as it annoys me.

The barking is bothersome. Very bothersome. But the worst ones are the neighbors who let their dogs do their business in other people's yards, either on a leash or by letting them roam free. I'm not particularly thrilled with having to clean up after my beasts, but I do it. I'm definitely not happy when I have to clean up after a dog belonging to someone else. It seems to be happening with increasing frequency too, and I'm completely at a loss for what to do about it.

I've never seen the dogs in action, but I'm cleaning up the aftermath, so I know it's happening. Sometimes it's on the sidewalk; sometimes it's in the driveway. Sometimes it's from a small dog; sometimes it's from a big one. It always makes me mad.

So ... suggestions? What can I do, if anything?



Susan said...

Ugh. Neighborhoods are tough, aren't they!! I have no suggestions. So Sorry!!

Kris @ WUHS and Eclipsed said...

No suggestions, just commiseration. The neighbors directly behind us -- and I do mean directly behind us (they're so close they're practically in our backyard -- have a very yappy little dog that they never shush. It barks all hours of the day and night. Christmas Eve was the worst. It barked from 7:30 AM (when it woke me up) to 10:30 AM. Yes, three hours. Non-stop. Literally, the dog didn't even seem to pause to catch its breath.

It's a rental house, so we did call the landlord that day. I mean, really, three hours?

Noodle said...

Oh, gosh, Kris, I feel your pain. The neighbors leave the Dane out for a LOT longer during spring and summer. And he barks the. entire. time. Drives me absolutely nuts. And they let him out as early as 5:30 am. I've heard him out there as late as 1 am. But honestly, I would not complain about Mr Barkers if I didn't have to deal with the waste in my driveway and front yard. I *wish* I could catch some neighbor at that. THEN I could run out and give him a glove and a plastic bag!

Tara O said...

How do you stop a dog from barking?? Curious because it would seem if you tell them to hush they wouldn't??? LOL! We just got our pup and well...this would be great info to know.

Noodle said...

Mine were barky as puppies. I don't know if I did it "correctly" but my solution was to say "shush" firmly and close the pup's mouth with my hands. That way they associated the word with the action. It didn't take too long. Now I can just tell them "shush" and they do. Well, mostly. If there isn't another dog nearby.