Thursday, January 20, 2011

Yipping Dogs, Insensitive Neighbors, and My Lousy Attitude



"Hate" is a strong word and in light of our culture's obsession with being politically correct we need to choose our words with care.  I HATE yipping dogs. 

As I type this a neighbor's yipping dog is barking incessantly outside.  And has been.  Aside from the fact that it is grossly (versus understandably) cruel to leave a yipping dog outside in 14 degree windchill weather, it is also terribly insensitive to those living in the vicinity.  I am three houses away and the doggy-decibels are sufficiently loud that the canine crescendo has me gritting my teeth while I type.  If I'm three houses away you know the owner (of the dog, not my house) knows that Fido is freakin' freezin' and bored to death, and therefore has catapulted into a manic episode of frenetic yipping.  If I were asked to bet on which will happen first--the dog freezing to death or  its owner gaining some sense of civility and neighborly manners--you know I'm putting my money on a very stiff dog.  

I'm sorry.  When I get in a highly agitated state like this I don't care what the SPCA thinks about my attitude.  I just want the dog to decide to shutup since the owner doesn't have enough sense to bring it in the house.  Or the dog to freeze to death and thereby shutup.  Or the neighbor to move away.  Or the neighbor to freeze to death  and Fido gets put up for adoption and goes to a loving hut in Africa. 

Seriously.  Is it that difficult to be aware of people around us, to care about people around us, and to take steps to avoid interfering with or disrupting our neighbors' space?  Is it that hard?  These seem like simple and realistic requests.  1.  Would you please refrain from leaving  your yipping dog outside to proceed to bark in staccato-like fashion?  2. Enjoy your music (as I enjoy mine) but don't play it at such levels that your music becomes my music because your music has drowned out my music.  You know, requests like that.  To me, getting along sounds so simple and ought to be so simple, but the neighbor three houses over makes it very difficult.

Some of you, I trust, are much more understanding and benevolent than me, and will come up with some logical explanation for the neighbor's yipping dog that is now in my crosshairs.  (Just kidding, SPCA.)  "Well, maybe the dog's owner is deaf and can't hear it."  Yeh, he's deaf;  his yipping dog blew out both eardrums years ago. 

I will calm down soon.  I will post this in my highly agitated state, and regret it within the hour.  In the meantime I will listen to some Wilco, maybe Ray LaMontagne, and pray-- if I can pry my teeth apart from each other.   

And don't ask me what I will be praying for.  Neither you nor the SPCA would likely appreciate my "Dear God, please. . . "  

19 comments:

Widow_Lady302 said...

Believe it or not I get exactly where you are coming from. As much as it is really about the yipping dog, it is about everything else too...just don't get me started about crying babies in the store. Yeah, I'm that hardcore ;-) Mucho love and some Ipod buds in your ears <3

SJ said...

When my mother lived with me, we inherited my nan's westie - Hamish. Well Hamish looks very cute but has the most annoying bark, one that sets your teeth on edge and every nerve in your body racing. I threatened to put my hands round its neck and watch it's little legs quiver until they stopped. I then felt incredibly guilty when he looked at me with big brown eyes. Even the most calm and rational person can be pushed to the limit.

My immediate thought on your noise pollution problem is a) is the owner there? b) is the owner still alive?

Bongo said...

OMG go to the house....3 houses down..ring the bell.....when answered knock the owner out and save the damn doggggg...

Steve said...

Widow_Lady, you and I should NEVER visit a pound or go to the Kroger store together.
SJ, Hamish will have a much longer life due to living with you rather than with me. You made me laugh.
Bongo, you provide some nice rational--but misguided--advice. I don't want to save the damn dog; I want to strangle the damn dog.

Bongo said...

Steve, Ohhhh silly me...I must have misinterpreted your views...may you be haunted by little LOUD yipping dogs...AMEN :>)

Tim said...

My first thought is, why don't you call the cops or animal control and tell them to do something about it?

Also, it's very easy to be considerate. A huge number of Americans are not considerate and couldn't care less about your cortisol levels, however. It's not because it's difficult to do, they just don't care.

Tim

alejandro guzman said...

Dog!!! Behave as us humans do!!!!

Don't they know?

Cheers

Steve said...

SJ, I've thot more about your comment. You asked if the owner is there and if the owner is still alive. I went over there to find out. In answer to your first question, yes, the owner was still there. In answer to your second question, after confronting the owner, no, the owner is not still alive.

Tim, think about it. If I were to take your advice that would constitute solving the problem--and then I wouldn't be able to devote an entire blog to gripe about it.

alejandro, Yes, they do. That's what drives me nuts.

Zach said...

I think it's ironic that you say our culture has an obsession with being politically correct and then go on to talk about the lack of sensitivity/civility in our culture.
I suggest that our culture has an obsession with doing and saying whatever I want without regard for others, and the whole political correctness thing is an attempt--an occasionally misguided one, I'll grant--at injecting a little respect, sensitivity, and civility into American conversations, particularly official ones.

Also, the owner of that dog should be tied up in the cold and subjected to incessant yipping for exactly as long as s/he subjects the dog and neighbors to the same. Call it, uh, "behavioral modification therapy."

Steve said...

I think that in our culture to be politically correct involves words, not behavior. I can act like a _____ but it is inappropriate to use that term itself in the workplace or in the media.
Reg. your comment about the neighbor/dog. You call it behavior modification therapy; I would call it entertainment, and that's why I'm getting out of the counseling field.

Mary said...

Oh, how funny! Up until Sept. 2010, I have never had a neighbor. We have always lived on a farm with no one in sight. When we moved, we did so into a neighborhood. Not only do I have yappy dogs all around me, they roam...through my yard, up on my porch, etc. etc. It makes me absolutely crazy! We have 2 dogs ourselves but I don't let them run loose, and keep them in the house unless I am out there with them. It doesn't seem to bother any of the other neighbors, and since I am new here, I have kept quiet. Don't know if I will be able to when summer gets here though.

Zach said...

Steve, that's a good point about PC words vs. behavior. Respectful words mean a whole lot less when paired with less-than-respectful actions.

Steve said...

Mary, welcome to the middle-upper class 'hood where our manners and sensibilities are worse than our pet's. Your neighbor's dog may poop in your yard; your neighbor is fully capable of crapping on your life.

Hostel Tinktinkie, Santa Rosa de Calamuchita said...

Steve, I know where you are coming from. We have neighbours with 2 yapping dogs and they don't stop! Correction, they do stop during the day but start barking from 11pm to 5 am. Sad thing is we don't have a SPCA here in Argentina!!! Dogs are left outside, not fed and nobody cares.

Ron said...

I have two dogs that know better than to yap outdoors with the threat of being sent to military school, but I have a neighbor who doesn't see it that way and allows her dog to yap for hours on end. I have in the past called her cell phone at 3AM and simply asked "How's you dog? How's Your GD dog???

She is slowly getting the message. As for screaming babies in the grocery...I carry a squirt gun :)

Great post!

Rachel Hoyt said...

Yapping yippy dogs are the worst!

Debra said...

Don’t worry here about the PC word police. You have every right to hate the yapping, as long as you don’t hate the dog:) Like “hate the sin not the sinner.”

Steve said...

Hostel, sounds like things are "meanuh" in Argentina! Sorry to hear about the conditions.

Ron, you're effective, but you'll never chair the Neighborhood Welcome Wagon.

Rachel, Yikes! (Thanks for reading!)

Steve said...

Deb, there goes my diabolical but delightful scheme to put an end to the sin and the sinner.