Friday, June 15, 2012

Woe Is Joe & Woe Is Me

 I usually leave work early on Friday's so I was home last month when the dogs were nervous and barking, in the foyer.  I walk down the hall and look out the front window, yeah I'm like Mrs. Kravitz, and see the dogcatcher's truck parked in front of my home.  I'm thinking well that's good, all the pooches are inside, safe and sound.
 Well, not so good.  She leaves me a warning on the gate informing me of yet another complaint from neighbors about my dogs barking. This is the first time a neighbor has gone this far. My neighbors on both sides of me have complained to me either verbally or by leaving notes.  This has happened before Joe and my father ever come to live with me.  But Joe has been kind of the cherry on top of a rather dicey issue with my neighbors.  I know he is a barker.  Sometimes, I have no clue as to why he runs outside and starts barking and other times I too hear neighbors outside or see people walking their dogs on the front walk.
 However, I don't leave the dogs outside at night.  Yes, I have a pet door and they come and go as they please but in this hot weather they mostly stay inside.  At any rate, I always close the pet door about 10:00 PM and don't open it till 8:00 AM or after.  Yes, I usually let them out when I get up at 5:00 AM or 6:00 AM.  But they are not left outside to howl at the moon all night long.
 So I have resorted to something I always thought rather cruel, I got a bark collar for Joe.  Let me tell you it has changed his personality.  He no longer picks on my girls in any way.  He doesn't want to play around and rough house.  He walks around with his head hung low.  He doesn't have that bounce in his walk like the ghetto dog he used to be. Oh yeah, he no longer barks, at all. I feel bad for Joe and truth be known I should get a collar for Lucy too.  Thankfully, Sable has never been a barker.  Moreover, I feel bad as well.  I feel an enormous amount of guilt.  I'm also a bit pissed at my neighbors.  If I hear "marco polo" one more friggin' time this summer I will be calling authorities on their children.  And my neighbors on the other side of me had two small dogs when I moved here.  They barked CONSTANTLY when I would be outside.  I couldn't stir a glass of tea or open a can of beer without them going on some tirade.  Now that their dogs are dead they seem less sympathetic towards mine.
So think of poor Joe this weekend and let's hope that he will show signs of the old Joe soon.

Have a good weekend!


Tim said...

Rick, sorry to hear about your problems. I have noisy dogs around me here, but I know Lulu can sometimes be noisy too, so we all maintain an unspoken agreement, don't rat on me and I won't rat on you. If that's not possible, than you've done the best thing. Joe's barking probably sets of Sable, if he's quiet, hopefully she will be too. You're the one who has to be in control of the situation, not the dogs. Show the neighbours what you've done.. that demonstrates you are trying to resolve the problem, and they might feel a little guilty! Good luck. :)

Sam said...

OMG - I'm so sorry, Rick. There is nothing worse than when neighbors pick on us because of our dogs! I agree with Tim - you may have done the necessary thing to save your sanity!


Alison said...

Wow, they would really impound your dogs for barking? I hear dogs barking out here in Katy all the time and no one seems to mind. I guess we're just more dog friendly out here. I'm sorry you had such a rough week. And poor Joe. :(

Howard in CT said...

I just can't get Joe off my mind. I hope he will soon be trained enough so the collar can be removed. The behaviors you describe are the classic symptoms of a broken spirit. From a happy ghetto dog, running in the hill country, to a small city lot in a subdivision, he may not be getting enough exercise; he's bored so he barks. I feel bad for him, and for you too, Rick. You are doing all you can under trying circumstances. Let us know how things go.

Howard in CT said...

I feel so badly for Joe and you, Rick. Joe seems to be exhibiting the classic signs of a broken spirit. Hopefully you can remove that collar soon, at least for part of the day. Let us know how things progress. I know this is killing you, Rick.