Thursday, April 16, 2015

Hark! Another Winner!

One of the greatest hopes of the bark-plagued is the legal system. As in, one of these days, it will notice our plight.

Well, guess what. We are being noticed. To the tune of six-figure lawsuits against the owners of barking dogs. Here's another victory:


The bad news? Animal control cited the dog owners twice, with the most recent citation happening in 2004. Which meant that the plaintiffs had to endure more than a decade of additional sonic sewage before justice was served.

Tuesday, March 31, 2015

Follow the Money

Readers old enough to remember the Watergate scandal remember Deep Throat, the senior government official who worked with The Washington Post reporters covering the story. (He was later revealed to be Mark Felt, associate director of the FBI.)

In the movie "All the President's Men," the Deep Throat character advised Washington Post reporter Bob Woodward (played by Robert Redford) to follow the money. He was referring to the secret Nixon campaign money that was used to pay the Watergate burglars.

And that's our mini-history lesson. This post is about following the money behind the out-of-control barking plague.

First in our rogue's gallery of big money pots: The pet industry. In the U.S., it's a big money-maker. To the point where estimates point to a 2015 expenditure of $60-plus billion. Yes, that's billion with a B. That's how much Americans spend on their pets. In one year.

Keep in mind that this is the same industry that comes up with logic-bending terminology like "pet parents." That's right. If you have a dog, you're Rover's mommy. Or daddy.

All I can say is "Puh-LEEZ!" And I'm not the only one.

But think of what happens if we, the neighbors, are kept awake by Rover's barking. We try to talk to Rover's owners and how dare we do such a thing! Who are we to question the precious utterances of their little four-legged baby?

If we take our complaint to our local animal control agency, we hit another roadblock. Which is the name of this agency.

If your area is like mine, it's no longer in the control business, it's all about animal care. Which means that it has placed the welfare of animals over public health and safety. Can you say "Dereliction of Duty?" I sure can -- because I have experienced it. Many times, in fact.

What's behind this change of focus? Well, it's time to meet the second big money pot: The animal rights extremist movement. It's the movement that places the rights of dogs above humans, often with tragic results.

What's needed to counter these two big pots of money? How about a human rights movement?

Sunday, March 8, 2015

Lies Dog Owners Tell

Ever had an owner tell you that his dear, sweet little doggie doesn't bark? Oh, no. Not ever.

Well, Mr. Dog Owner, what was that sound we heard when we were trying to sleep? Was that your dog, whispering outside our bedroom window?

Then there's that perennial classic: My dog barks because he's doing his job.

And what job might that be? Creating noise pollution? If so, your dog is doing fantastic work! Give him a raise!

Oh, here's another one: No one else has complained about the barking.

Well, maybe not to you, exalted dog owner. And there's a reason for that. It's called futility. We've learned (the hard way) that trying to talk to you about your dog's sacred utterances isn't worth our time.

The Department of Shameless Self-Promotion. If those lying dog owners are getting on your nerves, head over to the QuietBarkingDogs store.  Plenty of clothing and bumper stickers that quietly make our viewpoint known.

Wednesday, February 11, 2015

We have a winner!

At last, a win for our side! And it's a big one. Read all about it.

Three cheers for the plaintiff, who alleged that the dog is known for "raucously, wildly bellowing, howling and explosively barking."

The defendant dog owner didn't show up in court. (Typical.) So, the judge ruled in the plaintiff's favor and awarded him $500,000.

Monday, January 26, 2015

The Cult of Dog

Here's a story that will make your blood boil. Man and his wife move into their Colorado dream house. And then they find that their dream is not to be.

Why not?

Because of the Cult of Dog.

It dictates that you must be forced to listen to nonstop barking from the neighbor dogs. If you make any attempt to get the noise stopped, your life will be ruined. Because that's how things are in the Cult of Dog.

This man tried that advice that we all get -- talk to the neighbor who owns the dog. Didn't work.

He also tried to get help from his local police department. Animal control. Mediation. An attorney. They screwed him over.

Did I mention that this man is medically disabled and needs plenty of rest? Not possible to get that when a dog is bellowing away, just a few feet from your bedroom window.

What did this man's quest for quiet cost him? Here's a list of what was destroyed by his neighbor's unwillingness to control those barking dogs:
  1. His health
  2. His finances
  3. His standing in the community
  4. His marriage
  5. His ability to enjoy the quiet use and peaceful enjoyment of his property
But, in the Cult of Dog, none of these things matter. The Dog is all that matters. The rest of us are just a sideshow.

Thursday, October 9, 2014

The Doggie Double Standard

Here in Tucson, you can have your rockin' loud party busted by the police. And you'll probably be looking at hundreds of dollars in fines.

But, as the late night infomercial says, that's not all. You'll also have to display a bright orange tag on the front of your house for six months. If you remove the tag before those six months are up, you'll get another fine.

Want to torture your neighbors with impunity? Don't bother with the party. Just leave your barking dog outside. If there's a neighbor complaint, you'll get a Sternly Worded Letter from animal control. And you'll get the chance to strut your BS in an optional mediation session with your neighbor.

Sound like fun? It sure is! You and your neighbor get to take time out of your busy schedules so that you can explain why you're incapable of controlling your dog's noise.

If mediation fails (as it often does), or if your neighbor isn't interested in mediating (why bother with such a pointless exercise?), the neighbor can request an barking log from animal control. How cool is that?

Every time your neighbor has his house filled with your dog's barking, he gets to record it in his official animal control log. Wow! And then he can turn it in to animal control. If animal control thinks that your neighbor has suffered enough, there's a hearing.

Uh-oh! You could get fined!

Notice a double standard? I sure do!

If I were to stand out in my yard and yell for several hours, I'd be arrested. So would you.

Which begs the question: If human noise gets immediate attention from the police, why doesn't barking dog noise? Must be due to the Doggie Double Standard.

The Department of Shameless Self-Promotion. Start spreading the news! Barking is becoming as unfashionable as secondhand smoke. And you can become a peace and quiet fashionista at my QuietBarkingDogs store.

Wednesday, July 30, 2014

Barking News Roundup - July 30, 2014

New law gives county teeth to stop barking dogs

Excerpt: “I can’t talk on my property. I can’t blow my nose. I can’t open an outside gate,” [the bark-bedeviled man] told Clackamas County commissioners. “I can’t stand out there and water my own backyard.”

Why not? Because, according to him, each time he does, two neighboring dogs start barking incessantly.

Dog owner fears court over barking noise complaints

Excerpt: [The clueless dog owner] was served with an abatement notice ordering her to take action to stop the nuisance barking earlier in the year, but as the complaints continued council staff visited the property next-door on three occasions in May and have compiled a report noting on the noise sending neighbours barking mad.

I rarely hear a barking dog in the UAE and long may that situation continue

Excerpt: In my old house in East London, my next door neighbour had a Jack Russell, which not only yapped at all hours of the day and night, disturbing my sleep, but burrowed under the garden fence and used my lawn as a toilet. The response from the dog owner was not repeatable.

Dispute over barking dog ends in assault, arrest

Excerpt: “The defendant said that the dog constantly barks at him and he is tired of it,” according to the documents.

The Department of Shameless Self-Promotion. Fed up with barking dog noise? Well, head over to my QuietBarkingDogs store. It has tee shirts and bumper stickers that quietly and firmly get our point across.