Well, it's a lovely Sunday evening, it's getting on toward bedtime, and here I am at the computer.
Why might that be?
Because my lovely neighbors have once again left their robo-yapper outside. This dog has one of those loud, piercing barks that penetrates every area of my house. Only place I can go to get away from the racket is right here, at my computer, where I can don a nice pair of studio headphones and drown out the dog with music.
Helluva way to live, isn't it?
And it's not like I haven't tried to do something about this situation. I've written letters to the owners. Called the police to report noise disturbances. Turned them in to animal control, oh, four or five times. Went to barking dog mediation shortly after the first animal control report, and that was a waste of time. I even hired a lawyer to write them a cease-and-desist letter.
My lawyer's letter noted their two home-based businesses. One's a day care that, quite frankly, I wouldn't leave a kid with unless I really hated that kid. Front yard with all the toys is filthy. Dog's kept in the back yard, where it can pump its noise right into my house.
The other business was/is (I'm not sure which) one of those shuttle vans that plies the Nogales-Tucson-Phoenix route, and let's just say that it isn't taking airline passengers up to Phoenix Sky Harbor Airport. A couple of years ago, the parent company of my neighbors' shuttle van business got taken down in a big federal raid on human traffickers.
According to the Immigration and Customs Enforcement news release, the raid was called '"Operation In Plain Sight" because of the brazen nature of the
transportation companies' activities. Authorities characterized the case
as the most comprehensive human smuggling investigation in ICE history."
The release went on to say, "The search locations in Arizona included the offices of four Tucson
shuttle services - Saguaro Roadrunner Shuttles, America's Shuttles,
Sonoran Shuttles and Nogales Express Shuttles - and a fifth shuttle
company in Phoenix, Sergio's Shuttle. According to court documents
unsealed Thursday, the aliens transported by the shuttle services were
given pre-printed fare receipts in the amount of $30 in an effort to
make the shuttle trips appear legitimate."
What's worse, the people taking those shuttle trips were charged more like a hundred dollars. Nothing like getting a receipt for a third of what you actually paid.
But that's in keeping with what I've experienced with these neighbors. When I first tried to get them to control their dog's noise, you think I was asking them to move Mount Everest with a teaspoon. One of them even came over here and said, "Nothing can be done."
Those were his exact words. Nothing can be done to quiet a barking dog. Not training. Not leaving it in the house where it won't bother the neighbors. Or, get this, not having a dog in the first place.
Back to that letter sent by my lawyer. It mentioned my neighbors' two businesses, but, interestingly enough, the letter that their attorney wrote in reply only referenced the day care. Not a word about the shuttle van business.
Well, wouldn't you know it, shortly after my attorney shared a copy of the letter he got from the neighbors' lawyer, the Operation In Plain Sight raid went down. That was on Tax Day, April 15, 2010. And, around here, it got real quiet. To the point where I thought that the neighbors had re-homed the robo-yapper.
In January 2011, the shuttle van disappeared from their property. I have no idea where it went, or if the neighbors are still in that business.
What I do know is that the day care still exists, and that a lot of fix-up work has been done on the house. I have no clue where they're getting the money from. I wasn't aware that home-based day cares were that lucrative.
Well, it's been almost an hour since I first started writing this post. Robo-yapper is still going strong.
Which brings me to something that one of its owners told me during that useless mediation session back in July 2005. He boasted that the dog was a part of their family. Mind you, right before this mediation, the dog had been left outside in triple-digit heat. Must be one loving family, huh?
And in January 2007, when I made my second animal control report, the dog had been left outside at night in near-freezing temperatures. Boy, am I glad I'm not part of this family.
But I am growing quite weary of them as neighbors. Perhaps they're doing all the fix-up work to get their house ready for sale. I sure hope so. And, neighbors, when you leave this area, I hope that the door doesn't hit ya where the good Lord split ya.
As for your dog, it deserves much better owners than you've ever been.
The Department of Shameless Self-Promotion. I have to hand it to these neighbors. If it wasn't their continued persistence in depriving me of my right to the quiet use and peaceful enjoyment of my home, I probably wouldn't have started this blog.
And I never would have gotten the inspiration to fill a QuietBarkingDogs store full of products for the bark-beleagured. So, thanks, neighbors. I couldn't have done it without you. To you, I dedicate this tee shirt, which says "Your dog's yapping isn't cute - it's annoying." Or, since you're so convinced that nothing can be done, here's a bumper sticker, "Yes You Can Keep Your Dog Quiet."