Tuesday, August 2, 2016

He's doing his job!

You've probably heard this one from your barking dog-owning neighbors and friends. (What? You're still friends with those people?)

Turns out that the sonic sewage has a purpose. The dog is doing his job!

Well, peeps, don't let this one go. Question it. Here are three ideas. Feel free to use them in your next conversation with these dog owners.
  1. He's doing his job? Great! When it comes to creating noise pollution, his performance is off the charts! Good boy, Fido!
  2. Oh, so he has a job to do. Hmmm, would that be preventing peace and quiet in our neighborhood?
  3. So, his job is to reduce crime? Really? Does he know how to dial 911? And how about a neighborhood watch group? Those are quite effective. Is he organizing one?
So, there you have 'em. Three ideas. Feel free to add more in the comments.

Saturday, July 30, 2016

Protection Dogs

It's 3:21 a.m. and here I am at the computer.

Why? Same dogs as two nights ago. They're barking their heads off. Again.

I don't know their owners, and, quite frankly, I don't want to. Why not? Because they're probably going to tell me that they have the robo-barkers for protection.

And you know what? Those dogs are doing a great job! They're preventing the following:
  1. Peace and quiet
  2. A good night's sleep for the neighbors
Protection, my ass.

Oh, if those dogs were barking at a prowler, hell, that crook left the neighborhood an hour ago.

And the barking continues.

Thursday, July 28, 2016

Soundtrack for Another Night of Ruined Sleep

Live! From the neighbors' yard! Here it is!

Bark-bark! Bark-bark! Bark-bark! Bark-bark! Bark-bark! Bark-bark! Bark-bark! Bark-bark! Bark-bark! Bark-bark! Bark-bark! Bark-bark! Bark-bark! Bark-bark! Bark-bark! Bark-bark! Bark-bark! Bark-bark! Bark-bark! Bark-bark! Bark-bark! Bark-bark! Bark-bark! Bark-bark! Bark-bark! Bark-bark! Bark-bark! Bark-bark! Bark-bark! Bark-bark! Bark-bark! Bark-bark! Bark-bark! Bark-bark! Bark-bark! Bark-bark! Bark-bark! Bark-bark! Bark-bark! Bark-bark! Bark-bark! Bark-bark! Bark-bark! Bark-bark! Bark-bark! Bark-bark! Bark-bark! Bark-bark!

I might add that it has been a rainy night in Tucson. Which has been made worse by the neighbors' inability to open the door and let their dogs back into the house.

Friday, July 15, 2016

Goodbye and Good Riddance to Mediation!

Our local newspaper just shared this wonderful news:

Pima Animal Care drops barking dog mediation contract

Quoting from the story:

“Reviewing five years of ‘barking’ complaints we could demonstrate no decrease in the number of complaints or related citations that correlated in any way with our contract expenditures in this area,” Health Department Director Dr. Francisco Garcia wrote in a July 8 letter.

So, there you have it. The health department director is admitting that barking dog mediation was a waste of taxpayer dollars. Here's hoping that other jurisdictions come to the same conclusion.

Not that I'm against mediation. It does work when both parties are interested in achieving a positive result. For barking dog disputes? Uh-uh.

In these cases, the mediation involves a perpetrator (owner of the robo-barking dog) and a victim (the neighbor who's on the receiving end of the noise).

In other words, it's bullying.

And you can't mediate with bullies. You need to use the power of law enforcement -- and civil and criminal penalties -- to get the bullying to stop.

My previous posts on this topic:
  1. Mediation: The Non-Solution
  2. The Futility of Mediation

Thursday, July 7, 2016

Barking Dogs and Lawsuits

Speak to any personal injury lawyer, and you'll learn that dog bite cases are their bread and butter.

Barking dog cases? They're pretty rare.

However, that may be changing. Here's a case from Illinois:

Barking Dog Drove Up Sleep-Deprived Old Lady’s Blood Pressure: Lawsuit

Quoting from the story:

[The plaintiff] "has a right to the quiet and peaceful enjoyment of her condominium,” the suit said, but the barking dog is depriving her of that. So she wants at least $50,000."

I hope she wins.

Sunday, January 10, 2016

Barking Dogs and Property Values

So, you've had it up to here with your neighbors' barking dogs. To the point where you're ready to sell the house and move.

Well, not so fast.

You might find that the home selling process is a lot more difficult than you think. In case you're wondering why, here's the reason:

B-A-R-K-I-N-G

Case in point: News coverage of a proposed dog park and the unhappy neighbors. Money quote from a real estate agent, who was included in the story:

"Those of us in the real estate business know that if you are showing a property and there is a barking dog, it is very unlikely someone will buy or rent it."

Show of hands: Who wants to move to a dog-free community?

Friday, November 13, 2015

Mediation: The Non-Solution

Three years ago, I blogged about the futility of using mediation to resolving barking dog problems.

Well, guess what. I just made a couple of complaints to animal control about, you guessed it, barking dogs. Their letter package included this bit of advice:

First and foremost, we encourage neighbors to talk to each other.

Well, animal control, if you're trying to get people injured or killed, that is excellent advice. However, there's this thing called reality. Which includes news stories like this:

Barking Dog Dispute Leads To Stabbing

I don't know about you, but if the stabber was my neighbor, the last thing I'd try to do is talk to him about his barking dogs.

And here's another goodie from animal control's letter package:

We do not investigate the noise complaints.

To which I say: Then what in the hell are you doing with my tax money? Besides sending sternly worded letters to irresponsible dog owners and encouraging me to talk to them?

Oh, yes. There's one more thing that I'm encouraged to do: Mediation. It's no longer mandatory, but it just won't go away. And, according to animal control, mediation has an 85% success rate.

To which I say: Bullshit.

I've been involved in the battle against barking for more than a decade, and I've talked to countless people who have tried mediation and found it wanting. Most of them are like me. They vow to never use mediation again.

The StopBullying.gov website has this to say about mediation:

"Conflict resolution and peer mediation don’t work for bullying. Bullying is not a conflict between people of equal power who share equal blame."

And what is uncontrolled barking but another form of bullying?