I'm back -- with problems

dawnaMay 1, 2006

Hi all! I have finally gotten settled in Tucson and I love my apartment. It is so cute and comfortable and, after I finally got my balcony and front porch fixed up with plants and sitting areas, it was perfect.

I was so excited because my neighbors seemed to be very nice. Well, things have changed. I went out of town for a week and, while I was gone, I received a note on my door that my dog was barking constantly. It was signed "neighbors". My boyfriend was staying at my apartment while I was gone and said that he never heard him do that but he may have been while he was at work.

Anyway, this past Saturday I received a letter in the mail from the complex office that made me aware of "several complaints" about my dog barking. I was furious and did a lot of slamming around of things in my apartment. I had an idea of who was causing this problem -- my neighbor upstairs.

I ended up talking with her -- heated at first and then more calm. I am going to check in with her tonight to see how my boy did. He probably was just acting out because he knew I was out of town. But it worries me so much because now I feel like I am on the chopping block and I feel so isolated. It kills me that people complain about my dog barking (that is what dogs do) instead of the constant screams of kids that run around outside, the teenagers in the pool at 2 AM screaming and laughing, the folks across the way from me that has a parrot that whistles and talks -- loudly, a gate that SLAMS everytime someone comes in, etc.

I guess I am just venting. I am always quiet during the "quiet times" and my dog doesn't bark or cry anytime after normal work hours if he does it at all. I feel I am a very quiet and considerate neighbor. But now I feel paranoid.

Oh well, just venting to other apartment tenants. Thanks for listening!

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To be honest with you, if I lived above or below you and you're dog was a constant barker, I would complain also but I would ask you about it first in a nicely manner though. I live in a rowhome and the lady about 3 doors down owns this small little dog that yaps at a consant yapping. It drove me nuts listening to it for an hour and more every night to where I could not sleep. I finally put my shoes on and walked down there with my dog and my dog is not a big barker at all. Only to strangers walking in our yard. But I asked the lady to please bring her dog in cause we were trying to sleep and she said he comes in on his own terms. I said well, you are the owner and you are responsable for the dog so please bring him in and she did and since then she does not have him out at a late hour. If you're neighbor is complaining, it is because the dogs bark can be distracting and annoying at the same time. Don't get offended by it or do things to aggravate the situation because it only turns into retaliation. But good luck. Kim

    Bookmark   May 1, 2006 at 10:08PM
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Hey girl, it sure is good to hear you made the trip okay. I've been checking in about every day to see if you'd posted, as I was a little concerned about that long trip you made alone. Sounds like you're adapting to AZ, except for the dog. I know you were concerned about it before you moved and some of us offered a few suggestions, but I have one more, or at least I think I do. Do they not have a mild tranquilizer you could get from the vet, just for those times you have to be away all day? I think I read that some place. I don't know how safe or unsafe they are, but you may want to ask about it. Hate to think of the poor dog being so upset when you're gone.

Glad everything else is working out well for you!

    Bookmark   May 1, 2006 at 11:07PM
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I understand your concerns. You love your dog as if it was your child; but unlike children, some dogs just don't get it that they can't bark.

Maybe your dog needs a "buddy", another dog... I have a Pug (Poochie) and he's pretty good, from what I can tell, no complaints (yet). There's many dogs in my complex. My neighbors who are my worst enemies right now have a dog, that little SOB barks all the time... BUT... because he's a dog I don't get to upset at it or them... It's just the nature of the beast (no pun intended).

I think the best thing is maybe you should think about getting your dog a buddy to play with.

Good luck.

    Bookmark   May 1, 2006 at 11:40PM
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If your dog was barking in my complex, I'd complain about it too.

    Bookmark   May 1, 2006 at 11:56PM
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Sorry Dawna, I am a dog lover but.... If I lived above or below, or to either side of you, and your dog barked non stop, I would complain too.

Just because the dog is quiet when you are home and during quiet hours, it doesn't mean the dog doesn't bark all day long and drive the neighbors nuts. Odds are it does or they wouldn't complain.

You getting mad and slamming around and talking heated to the neighbor (at first) isn't training your dog to not bark. when left alone.

    Bookmark   May 2, 2006 at 6:30PM
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Amazing -- when people complain about babies crying or kids playing loudly the response is "kids will be kids" but if it is a dog then it is a different story.

No big deal. He hasn't caused any problems since I have been back in town. He probably just missed me and was acting out -- even though I had someone staying with him.

And slamming things around is what I do when I get angry and I was certainly angry with them (still hold some resentment). I think it is poor of them to leave a note instead of talking to me about it face-to-face before reporting me to the office.

I guess apartment living is like being back in high school again. Sounds great...

    Bookmark   May 2, 2006 at 7:59PM
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I would set up a tape recorder and tape a few days and see if my dog was barking and for how long. If your dog is barking you might be able to see what is setting him off and that would help figuring out a cure. Otherwise, look into a doggy daycare. A VERY neighborly thing to do would be to ask the neighbor to let you know if he barks and the time of day and tell her that you are working on it.

    Bookmark   May 2, 2006 at 8:01PM
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Dawna, in response to your last post about babys, etc... I do not know of anyone else here that has posted about kids will be kids but speaking for myself, if I lived where the children were running back and forth on floor if I lived below them or screaming every minute, I would complain about that to. To me that just shows no parenting as so goes for a constant barking dog. I am not saying dogs will never bark when your not home cause all dogs would. But you go into an apartment knowing that your very close with others, its to be expected to have complaints. I actually did tape my dog for a whole day when we left and she does bark for about maybe 2 minutes when we leave but the rest of the day she does not unless someone comes to the door. My fiance and I are very stern about our dog barking when we are home. If she is outside and starts to bark, she comes in. Unlike neighbor next to us that allows her dog to constantly bark where we cannot even open our door.By you getting angry and trying to upset your neighbor is not going to help the situation. But just my opinion. Good luck.

    Bookmark   May 2, 2006 at 10:42PM
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If your way of "expressing anger" is to slam things around and make noise in your apartment, it shouldn't be that surprising that your neighbor might want to remain anonymous instead of confronting you directly about your dog. Not everyone is reasonable about stuff like this.

I realize what a drag it must be to hear other people making noise and then have THEM report you, but it would make more sense to figure out why your dog is barking when you aren't home.

Is there a way you could try to find out when he is barking? Maybe someone is letting their cat roam around outside your door in the hallway?

Or perhaps he is still adjusting to his new space and/or might just be lonely. I knew a woman who got a puppy. She was gone all day so she got an answering machine that had a built in intercom. She would call everyday from work, several times a day and listen in to see if he was making noise. She was able to talk to him to. This helped and let her know if he was being noisy or not.

We used to have a dog that would howl all day and scratch at the door until we got him a buddy. Quiet as a lamb after that. Sometimes a little company is all they need. You might also try leaving the radio on for him or arrange for a relative or friend to drop in and say hi now and again. Perhaps some type of doggie day care would be in order?! Even just one or two days a week to break up his "routine".

    Bookmark   May 3, 2006 at 12:35AM
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I'm an animal lover. But if I had a neighbor that had a dog that barked constantly I would say something, and depending how I thought the owner may act, I may say something to them first. But if I got the impression they may be hostile, IE slamming stuff around when they are upset, sorry, I'm going to the manager and let him handle it. To ensure if he is barking all the time, do what some one else suggested, set up a recorder. If you have a computer, there must be some sort of program one can get to do that. Best of luck

    Bookmark   May 3, 2006 at 3:12PM
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Hi all. Thanks for all the feedback. I wanted to clarify that I don't always slam things all the time. I was very upset that day and did it that one time. I am very quiet and always keep it that way when I am at home. Other than when I have to turn the TV up when my lovely neighbors upstairs take showers that last a while.

Anyway, I will probably hold some sort of resentment towards them but I am not being mean about it. Just not going out of my way to be friendly to them. I checked in with them over the past couple of days to see how he did and they said they never heard a peep. He is an old guy so he sleeps most of the day unless someone comes to the door.

I really think that he was worried because I left for a week with a suitcase. My boyfriend is moving into a house in June so, when I return to Louisville for a long weekend in July, I am planning on leaving him over there with my boyfriend.

And Jackson does have a buddy in the apt with him. I have a cat -- they both grew up together.

I guess I am just very protective of my babies and I flew off the handle. All is good now and, except for an occasional cry when I first leave, he is doing much better.

Thanks everyone.

    Bookmark   May 3, 2006 at 4:05PM
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Glad the dog's doing better. It was probably because he wasn't used to the new surroundings before you left.

Need to add, I slam things when I'm upset, too. (Sorry everyone, but I do--and I mumble under my breath--naughty me!)

    Bookmark   May 3, 2006 at 11:53PM
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Thanks Patti! Sometimes a slam or a tantrum really makes one feel better! I am pretty much over it now -- looking forward to seeing how it goes Saturday. I am having a Kentucky Derby Party at my apartment with about 12-15 people coming. I invited my neighbors to since they are from Kentucky as well. Sometimes you just have to grit your teeth and be "nice".

    Bookmark   May 4, 2006 at 12:51PM
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