Wednesday, 27 April 2011

Just when I was thinking "how cute" ...

... a neighbour comes along and complains!
Eliot has made himself a little vantage point on top of the compost so that he can see when Sooty comes out in his garden and they can have a bit of barking fun!  It doesn't last for long as either my neighbour or I bring the "offending" animal in!  But clearly it has lasted long enough for a neighbour further down the road to think that it is a nuisance.
Her "all day" is a tad exaggerated .... indeed it is seriously exaggerated ... but that is how she feels.  According to her it has been every day for six weeks ... but for ten days of that time Eliot was in kennels and for some days Sooty was away as well ... and on many other days I know Eliot wasn't in the back garden at all unsupervised ... still ... she believes that it is constant.
It feels so unjust from my point of view so I want to defend myself - and my dog.  I was in the garden with him this late afternoon ... I was working and he was there ... but not barking!  I know he wasn't barking ... and neither was Sooty.
But trying to see the problem from her point of view - if you're fragile then any barking must seem like a terrible intrusion and begin to feel as if it is endless.  If you're sitting in the garden and dogs in adjacent gardens three or four doors away start to bark what do you do?  With this lovely sunny weather it is a shame to feel that you have to move indoors ... but if you stay out the barking must just seem to get louder.
Neither Sooty's owner nor myself would want to annoy someone ... but we're at a loss to know what to do.  All we could say tonight is that we'll keep an eye on them.
I know they've not been barking all day ... I know Eliot hasn't been in the garden of late as I've tried to keep him away from annoying the family next door so he doesn't get out unless I'm around.
Tonight I did let him out and I did hear the pair of them barking ... though it wasn't for long ... at least ... I didn't consider it to be long ...
And why now?  We've been here for three years and suddenly this is a problem ... though their behaviour hasn't changed in that time as far as I can see ...
So my cute dog has turned into a monster as far as this neighbour is concerned.  But here he is lying at my feet as if he were an angel!
He's not an angel and he does bark when other dogs are around ... or squirrels ... or something that he can't identify ...
I suppose you're aware only when something annoys you ... and all the times when they don't bark pass without notice.
Anyhow ... this has left me wondering what can be done ...

Lord, it is night. The night is for stillness.
Let us be still in the presence of God.
It is night after a long day.
What has been done has been done;
what has not been done has not been done; let it be.
The night is dark.
Let our fears of the darkness of the world and of our own lives rest in you.
The night is quiet.
Let the quietness of your peace enfold us, all dear to us, and all who have no peace.
The night heralds the dawn.
Let us look expectantly to a new day, new joys, new possibilities.
In your name, we pray, Amen.

New Zealand Book of Common Prayer

The day had many good parts too ... lovely friends brought me a potato grow bag thing so that I could plant the Arran Piper seed potatoes .... 
These rather seriously over-chitted potatoes were going for next to nothing yesterday in the garden shop ... too good to miss. 
And the large pink sack is where some of them are now putting down roots.
Meanwhile, when I was buying compost these crates of Easter bunnies caught my eye!  Bunnies go cheap!  Although it isn't that cheap as you got three for £5 before Easter .... now you'd get three for £4.47 .... The saving is on the purchase of just one!  Otherwise ... wait another few days and the price will drop again! 


ROBERTA said...

It's disturbing to know that the pup you love so dearly is not loved by your neighbors! You're doing a fine job of trying to see the situation from your neighbor's point of view but Eliot is not just any ordinary dog - he's Eliot! And barking is how dogs communicate.

Does your neighbor realize that Eliot is a superstar on this blog? If you need, I'll vouch for him:) I've got a barker too, and I do the best I can to keep her quiet but dogs will be dogs - and humans will be human.

Rev Elizabeth said...

Thanks Roberta ... have spent a happy half hour piling up compost and branches against the place where the worst of the barking happens ... the spot in the picture where he's lying in wait! Then it has been soaked in an anti-animal spray .... so hopefully if they see less of each other and Eliot doesn't like the smell ... there'll be less of the challenge he faces.
Barking dogs really are annoying if it is constant ... I don't think it is ... but what I think on this one doesn't count!
Neighbour thinks it is aggressive but their tails are in the friendly mode ... but you need to be able to see that to know it's just play.
Anyhow ... new day ... he won't be out unsupervised and tomorrow we're going to another doggy house to watch the wedding so he'll be out for most of the day ...

lesleyc said...

Perhaps prayer for the fragile neighbour is also needed to resolve the problem.

I have a disturbed rescue dog in the next garden and she is very vocal - I wouldn't dream of complaining but then I'm usually at work all day. She was sick for 10 days and never barked the whole time so I was nearly crying with relief when she was able to come out and bark again!

Enjoy the wedding!

Kelly said...

It's unsettling to know that someone perceives our sweet doggies as anything but! In our culturally diverse townhome neighborhood (I think they'd be called terraced homes over your way) there's a mix a dog fondness or lack thereof or sometimes outright fear. Sometimes the fear is culturally driven - the children are actually taught to scream and run away from dogs, which could be quite dangerous. One neighbor lets their young dachshund out for its morning business and we are all treated to 10 minutes of non-stop, bloody murder yipping. It sounds like your neighbor may be afraid that there are aggressive dogs being left out - we know it's not true with Eliot and Sooty but maybe a bad dog experience in the past has any bit of barking putting the fear of dog into them. Do you think a cup of tea and visit with the wonderful Eliot might help? It might be the neighbor's first positive contact with a pup! And as Roberta said, it IS Eliot and he is a special guy! I will say a prayer also.

Enjoy the wedding - I remember most of us being late for our college classes to see Princess Diana walk down the aisle, Wish she were here to see her boy getting married!