My neighbors don't like me or my dogs?

FryFryNovember 2, 2013

Hi, I'm new here, but I really need some advice on how to handle my neighbors. My old neighbors moved to Miami 5 months ago, and his sister, her husband and kids moved into the place. Ever since they moved here they have tried to start things with my family. Especially the husband, he was trying to say I was allowing my dogs to pee and poop in their yard, which is totally false. I had my Yorkie outside, walked down the street to the common area, and as I walked back towards my house the lady across the street, came out and yelled at me. She told me to stop letting my dog pee in her yard. I told her I don't let my dog pee in your yard..then she said "yeah, well my husband said you have been!" and I said "I guess your husband has a lying problem, then" and i walked into my house. I live in a townhouse complex, so there are common areas for people to take their dogs. I had my dog outside, across the street in the common area by the mailboxes, in a mulch area. My neighbor comes out and walked right past me, and her dog lunged at my dog, growling and barking. This is the conversation:

Me: "excuse me, but please watch your dog"
Her: "It was an accident! she slipped, okay?!"
me: "that's fine, but just be more careful next time. I don't want a scuffle to start between our dogs"
I start to walk away so my dog can use the bathroom for the last time tonight. She yells at me;
Her: "Why do you let your dogs piss in my yard?!"
Me: confused because I don't let my dogs in her yard "I've never let my dogs in your yard, perhaps you have me confused with someone else"
Her: "you're letting him pee here" she was referring to the common area.
I then told her it was the common area, hence it wasn't anyone's yard. I then said to her "unless you bought it, and it is yours..is it?"
Her: "No! but you don't let him pee here! go somewhere else"
This is the same woman who made my Grandmother cry a few months ago.. I said to her "What is your problem? Ever since you and your family moved here, all you've done is tried to pick on my family for no known reason. What did we do to you? Or are you the type of person who needs to always start things in order to feel good about yourself? I think you're a very rude and ignorant person, and I don't even know you, but you come off that way..How about instead of constantly picking on my family, why don't you speak to your neighbor next door, because whenever you're gone, her dog runs around in your yard and yes uses the bathroom..so perhaps those pee stains in the grass are from her dog, because they're aren't from mine." The look on her face was like dumbfounded, perhaps she wasn't expecting me to go off on her and call her out on things. She didn't say anything, but stare at me with her mouth open. Right before I walked into my house I said "I don't even know how you were related to the guy who lived there before you, because your brother was a hell of a nice person compared to you" Sorry, I needed to rant about this. I hate confrontation, and it makes me feel all shaky. This lady, and her husband have been trying to start things and pick on my family ever since they moved here 4months ago, and we've never once said anything or did anything to them. I've never seen them confront other people, it just seems to be us.

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snookums2

Tell them you think it is another dog, not that her dh is lying, and ask them to please take a picture of your dog peeing on their property so you can see for yourself. Otherwise, ignore them and just walk away. You can not talk to or reason with unreasonable people.

I don't think I would have said anything when the dog lunged. Obviously it was an accident and she was there so will be aware for the future. Now you know that dog and can handle the situation yourself by crossing over to the other side of the street or something.

Sounds like a nice neighborhood, lol.

This post was edited by snookums2 on Tue, Nov 5, 13 at 7:46

    Bookmark   November 5, 2013 at 7:44AM
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robertz6

In my area, local regulations require dog owners to collect the poop of their dog if deposited in others yards. Nothing about dogs peeing in anothers yard. Suggest you find out what the rules (if any) are in your community.

Some neighbors one just can't get along with. You seem like a person with strong opinions. Don't let things get out of control. The last few months the local TV news has been reporting on a situation where two neighbors have major problems and the police got involved. No one is served when these neighborhood disputes go bigtime. Neither neighbor, the other neighbors, or the local police or government.

    Bookmark   November 8, 2013 at 12:12PM
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nan_e_fan

Small comfort to you, but I'm sure this type of situation occurs more often than you think. I too, for the last five years have had to deal with neighbors whose words and actions seem to border on the insane. One thing I have learned is that people like this absolutely feed on your angst and tension (hate). It may seem difficult to you now to conceive, but your level of discomfort at their antics actually gives them power over you. You don't have to let it go....just find a way NOT to feed the monster. You will become more objective, and they will lose their power over the situation. Good luck!

    Bookmark   January 23, 2014 at 4:05PM
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nancyinmich

You asked for advice, so I am going to tell you that your responses to your neighbor have been aggressive and provocative. Your reactions to the neighbor have added to the conflict. Your goal should instead be to give neutral or calming responses.

Snookums2 gave you examples of these. Nan-E-Fan gave you away of thinking of the situation that protects you from thinking that by changing your responses to this family you are "wimping out" or acting like you are weak.

By keeping calm and responding to exactly what is said, you keep control of the situation. The woman says, "my husband says he saw you letting your dog pee on our lawn." You say, "I don't let my dog pee on the individual lawns, he only goes on the common area." If the neighbor does not know where the common area is, this gives them the opportunity to ask, "where is this common area?" If the neighbor, instead, insists that you do let your dog pee on her lawn, you ask her to take a picture of it. If she says that she has no camera, remind them of their cell phones or tell her to get a cheep disposable. Or offer to pay half for a disposable. This shows that you are concerned for their issue (you don't really have to be concerned, but acting like you are keeps the peace).

By remaining calm, you keep the power in the relationship. If they start getting accusatory toward you, or start complaining to the townhouse management, you can calmly say, "I told them that I only use the common area and asked them to photograph the dog using their lawn as a toilet. I even offered to share the cost of a disposable camera. They never did anything to prove it was my dog, they just continue to harass me every time they see me outside." Or if you can remain calm when they harass you, then YOU can go to management and complain about their treatment of you.

It takes practice to remain calm and to learn to respond only to the words people are saying to you. What you have been doing is responding to the emotion behind what the neighbor is saying and making assumptions about what she is staying. Your assumption has been, "This family has something against me and my family." By having this assumption in the background, based on your first few interactions with this family, you have been working from an assumption that you are at war because this other family has decided you are. Nothing could go right after this assumption was made. That is why I suggest that you concentrate only on the words that are said. It keeps you focused on your goal of remaining calm and responding to the situation and the concerns that the person is bringing up.

It is too late for you to make this relationship start out right, but you can work on calming it down. That will give you practice for future relationships with other people. I had to do this when I found myself getting all upset talking with insurance companies and the like on the phone. After one set of phone calls when I got mad and frustrated and yelled at the person on the other end of the phone, my eyesight went all wonky. It was like looking through a kaleidoscope that was turning. I thought I was going blind! Through the little bits of clearness, I waited through my dial-up internet and slow page loads and figured out that I was having an ocular migraine. I did not need to go to the ER, but I should see an ophthalmologist soon. So I called my eye doc and they got me in the next day. What is one cause of an ocular migraine? Stress. What else does stress do? Cause high blood pressure and other heart disease, contribute toward diabetes and other diseases. Gotta lower stress!

    Bookmark   January 25, 2014 at 3:35PM
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lucille

I remember neighbors at my previous house, husband AND wife knocking on my door early one morning and I could tell they had worked themselves up into a tizz. A neighborhood dog had barked all night and they were convinced it was one of my dogs.
They wanted to light into me, I could tell. I simply said it was not my dog, that I had heard the barking also. They continued trying to pin the barking on my dogs, I continued to tell them it was someone else's dog. Finally, they went away.
I agree with Nan-E-Fan and Nancy, you have the power to de escalate and control the conversation.

    Bookmark   October 14, 2014 at 3:10PM
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amylou321

GRRRRRR! I cant stand people like that. Grouchy old curmudgens do NOT need to live around other people...period. I kind of know what you mean...I own pit bulls and German shepards and cant go to the pet store or the park or the vet with one of them without somebody saying negative about the breed. One day i had one of my pits at the vet, he was laying in the floor and a little boy was petting him. A lady came in, gasped and yanked the kid away in horror. This was not even her kid but a complete stranger! She said "Whats wrong with you, that dog would take his arm off!" I stopped arguing with idiots like that a long time ago.
My neighbors kid got bitten by somebodys dog and the police came to my house looking for my dogs. The hateful shrew (the kids mother) blamed it on my dogs even though my dogs live in the house and do not leave the house unless they are on a leash or in the fenced backyard, and they are never alone out there either. Besides, all my dogs are friendly. Lucky for me my dogs were all boarded at the vet at the time since i was leaving the next morning on a trip. But at least i did get to inform the cops how this particular little deliquent likes to go to people fenced yards and throw rocks and sticks at their pets. I have a feeling the shrew blamed it on me because i told her little darling that if i caught him messing with my dogs again, i would come over there and give him the whooping his mother wont. After that incident with the cops, I went over there, gave the shrew an earful and then informed HER that i had installed cameras around my yard,(which was true) and if i caught her kid on them at ALL i would call the cops and report him, and if it happened again, i would not hesitate to shoot on sight. She looked at me like i was nuts, but I told her if she wanted to keep him in good health at least until he was old enough to be a guest of one of our fine correctional institutions, she should keep him in her yard. And i also told her that whosever dog did bite him, he deserved it and maybe he would learn a lesson about respecting animals and other peoples property that he cleary was not learning at home. I havent had a problem since.

    Bookmark   October 16, 2014 at 9:17PM
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hoovb zone 9 sunset 23

" "I guess your husband has a lying problem, then""

That might have been better expressed a bit more diplomatically.

Whatever you do, stay calm, stick to facts, debate the issue, not the person.

Here is a link that might be useful: how to be diplomatic

    Bookmark   October 16, 2014 at 9:21PM
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