Monday, March 8, 2010

The Yappy Sounds of Spring....

Today was a real spring day. Even though the calendar, technically, still declares it winter, it might be hard to tell mother nature that. When I came out of work, it was a balmy 63 degrees. I didn't need my coat.

It was strange driving home and still being overly warm because I'd dressed for the weather this morning when it was only 34 degrees. It was even stranger to see the mounds of snow still piled high in the car parks where it was frantically shoveled to make way for traffic. The snow piles are really just ice-piles, dirty snow cones of leftover winter detris. Yet on a warm evening, they seemed almost alien.

The snow in my back garden has finally melted. I went outside tonight to try to inspect the fence to make sure that if my puppy comes to live with me, she'll have no escape routes. I also wanted to see how many daffodils, crocuses, tulips and hyacinths were starting to push their way upwards out of the earth.

I made it outside for about five minutes. I was driven inside by my neighbour's dogs. I've now lived here since August and still the blasted things bark as though they've never seen me before. I'd take it personally but I know they bark at anything that moves. I know this because they're often outside at 6 a.m., barking loudly at a sound they heard on the street. Given that they're barking less than 15 feet from my bedroom window, you can imagine how happy this makes me.

I'm not sure what to do. Tonight, my neighbour was actually outside, grilling while the dogs were barking. It wasn't The Dog Whisperer but it was his wife. She shouted at them, once. They ignored her. She made a show of trying to get them to quiet but it became obvious that they weren't going to listen.

Given that I had a bit of a headache and was not in the mood to try, once again, to bond with the dogs in an attempt to quiet them, I ended up going in. I've tried to bond with the dogs. The closer I get to the fence, they louder they get. One of them snapped at me the last time I tried to befriend them.

I admit, I'm a little worried about getting a puppy. She's going to be very tiny and vulnerable and those dogs are big and loud. It's bad enough that I feel like I can't go outside in my own yard without setting the dogs off. What's going to happen when I let my puppy out?

I have no clue what to do. My coworker did give me a device that supposedly lets off a high-pitched whistle, only audible to dogs, when you hit the button. I tried that the other day. It actually seemed to have an effect. It's not, however, the kind of thing you want you neighbours to see you using. I don't think it harms the dogs but they probably wouldn't approve anyway.

I could rant on about how they need to discipline their dogs, teach them to keep quiet but I'm a realist. I know it won't do any good. They're dogs: They bark. They're going to bark. Short of the dogs actually going away, I don't see a solution here.

For me, when I'm outside, I will put my iPod on and block out the yapping. Yet, for my puppy....what happens then?

I'm going to have to think about that. I tell you though, on a nice spring evening, it would have been really nice to wander around my yard, peacefully taking in the signs of spring. Instead, I was subjected to the bark of three dogs who followed my every move. It did rather kill the mood and kill the sereness of the evening.

Still, there's always tomorrow, I suppose. If not, is it a bad thing to take a hose to the neighbour's dogs?

Just kidding.

For now.

Happy Tuesday!

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