Today there was an official complaint about him.
His bark is a loud one although I make sure that he's not in the rooms that are adjacent to next door's house so the sound would be muffled.
I know that he never barks during the night except on the odd occasion when I've known that someone has come up the drive or round the back of the house. He is a good guard dog and you'd be a very brave person to risk coming onto the property if Eliot is around and I'm not! The new postman has made friends with him so now I never know when the mail arrives ... the fellow looks like Naftaly so maybe Eliot thinks that it is his friend back to play with him.
The question therefore remains: Why is the perception of his barking so different from the reality?
Maybe there's no answer to that ...
So what are the solutions?
Well ... he already comes with me whenever possible and has become accustomed to sitting in on the Bible Study, the Choir practice and even attending parties and other major functions around church. Sometimes he goes visiting with me too. Of course, he can't come to funerals and to some other meetings ...
There are collars that spray a scented oil when the dog barks ... so one of those has been ordered to see if it works with Eliot. I don't like the thought of the other type that give a small static shock ... but maybe that will have to be considered if the spray one doesn't work.
And prayer ... maybe first prayer ... for my neighbours ... for myself ... around the situation ...
So ... that's the current situation at the rectory ... rather stressful at present but hopefully some of the measures will work ... of course ... another dog might be the best solution of all! Angel has been here tonight and perhaps the company would help? The danger is that the noise could double ... and that would be no help at all!! Maybe I need to borrow Angel more frequently ... or get a dog sitter .... this is certainly the downside of the rectory being a semi-detached house.
The neighbours knew that Eliot was here when they bought the house ... didn't it dawn on them when they were looking at it that the dog might bark from time to time? And the dogs on the other side bark as well ... except that their house doesn't have a shared wall so the noise is perhaps less. I wonder did they get a visit from the Dog Warden too?
But ... to a much more pleasant scene ...
This view is from the cafe at the Lyric Theatre. Just today I was taken there for coffee ... very good coffee ... and a beautiful vista along the River Lagan.
God of peace, be present, near us;
fix in all our hearts your home.
With your gracious presence cheer us;
let your blessed kingdom come.
Church Hymnal number 505 verse 3
Charles Wesley (1707-88)