Friday, July 27, 2012

The Backlash Against Barking and Dogs

Time wasn't too long ago when uncontrolled barking was considered something that we would have to live with.

In other words, forget about your right to the quiet use and peaceful enjoyment of your home. The neighbor's barking dog has many more rights than you do.

Well, that was then. This is now.

In recent weeks, this blog has visitors with very interesting names. For example, there is the creator of the Dog Haters Unite website. Let's just say that this individual is not terribly fond of barking.

Also out there in the anti-dogosphere is Why I Hate Dogs. You'll find this blog's recent post on the pet industry's efforts to equate animals with children to be quite interesting. Quoting from that post, "The propaganda spewed by the pet industry has succeeded in turning otherwise sane people into besotted 'pet parents' who feel guilty if their dog doesn’t have the latest fashions, the brightest teeth, the coziest bed, the best food and medicine, or the most sturdy baby stroller."

A baby stroller? For dogs? When did they stop being able to walk on their own?

The backlash doesn't stop there. A few years ago, Carole Wade wrote a book that asked the question Is Pet Ownership Destroying the Lives of Americans? Her answer: Yes it is. She occasionally contributes articles to The American Partisan, and I highly recommend these two:
  1. Study Proves Dog Owners are Lonely People
  2. A Baby Boomer's Best Friend or a Worst Enemy
The second article has an especially poignant passage, even as it shows heavy overuse of quotation marks:
In effect, dogs lock "seniors" in their homes. Dogs restrict "“baby boomers"” from interacting with friends. Dogs restrict active women and men from the old activities of playing bridge or golf. Why? How does a senior leave the "dog" at home alone? Dogs and the new computer age have actually increased a senior's time to "stay-at-home" and become a "lonely-person." Interestingly, the American Pet Products Manufacturers Association promotes products that are in the worse interests of seniors. Their association is not a "medical" society. They are in the business of selling multi-million-dollars a year of "pet" supplies.
Do you know anyone who fits the above description? I sure do. And I can't help thinking that they would have much happier, more enriching lives if they weren't so immersed in their dogs. But that would mean less money for the pet industry, and we can't have that, now can we?

Truth be told, I'm not anti-dog. I take them on a dog-by-dog basis.

That's because some dogs are an absolute joy to be around. Their owners have trained them well. And they have sound temperaments.

Other dogs? Let's just say I'd rather not be on the same planet with them. Same goes for their owners.

The Department of Shameless Self-Promotion. Ready to join the backlash? Or do you just wish that your neighbor's dog would shut up? Express your displeasure quietly with the tee shirts and bumper stickers in my QuietBarkingDogs store.

Thursday, July 26, 2012

This Week's Barking News Roundup - 07/26/12

Mailman kicks barking dog, woman wants vet bills paid

Excerpt:  A woman who tried to get the post office to pay her dog’s vet bill after a mailman kicked the barking dog away from him ended up losing mail delivery to her residence, police said.

Tip: This news story is open for comments. Follow the above link to add yours.

Jones does not support barking dog ordinance

Excerpt: As a candidate for the District 4 Jackson County Commissioner seat, let me state clearly that I am not on the fence on this issue and I clearly have a position. I do not support a countywide barking dog ordinance and oppose any amendment to the Jackson County Noise Ordinance that attempts to institute a countywide barking dog provision.

While I sympathize with those who feel they have a problem with a nearby dog, to think that county government in Jackson County can quiet dogs from the South Carolina line to the Qualla Boundary and all points in between is simply not practical.

Secondly, a countywide barking dog policy ignores the rich hunting heritage of a great number of Jackson County residents. In an age when hunting rights are under attack already, I will not support any laws that continue to undermine those rights.

Tip: Since it's open season on the right to enjoy peace and quiet in your home, why not follow the above link and share your viewpoint with candidate Jones and the readers of the newspaper to which he sent the above letter?

Chronically barking dog is a $150 fine

Question: We live in east Medford near Lone Pine School and we have a horrible problem with dogs barking. These dogs bark any time, day or night. The owners seem oblivious to the sound and apparently don't care. Contacting them would only point out the obvious. Other neighbors have commented to us and feel the same. With the warm weather, we have our windows open at night, and the dog barking keeps everyone awake. What can be done? I don't want to be a grouchy neighbor, but, geez, enough is enough. 

Barking dogs could take bite out of Fairview wallets

Excerpt: A new Fairview Township ordinance authorizes township officials to investigate barking dog complaints and fine owners up to $500 for persistently noisy dogs.

Dog owner: Neighbor slit dog's throat to stop barking

Excerpt: [A member] of the Animal Rescue League of Northwest Georgia saved [the dog] from a local county shelter.

"The story I got when I picked him up from the shelter was the neighbors had been complaining that he barked so much and their belief is one of the neighbors slit his throat," [the dog's new owner] said.

The Department of Shameless Self-Promotion. Another week. Another Barking News Roundup. And those clueless dog owners never seem to learn. Meanwhile, the rest of us are getting fed up. But let's not stoop to the level of irresponsible dog owners and spew noise into our neighborhoods. Let's share our displeasure quietly. My QuietBarkingDogs store is full of to-the-point tee shirts and bumper stickers that leave no doubt as to how you stand.

Tuesday, July 24, 2012

Doing the Barking Dog Shuffle

You never know where you're going to see the barking dog issue being raised.

Take, for example, a story in today's Arizona Daily Star. It's about a Tucson city councilman's effort to have local liquor license hearings held in this city, instead of up in Phoenix.

The Arizona Daily Star's online comment forum is a pretty lively place. The comments after this story are no exception. One comment jumped right out at me. It's from one of the councilman's constituents.

The constituent lives in a neighborhood with an ongoing barking problem, and has not gotten any help from this councilman.

Quoting the constituent's comment, "[I] have written several times to ask why barking dogs are not included in red tag ordinance. It seems unfair to me that if a neighbor has a loud party I can call and they will be stopped, ticketed and fined. But if I have a neighbor with a dog that barks 24/7/365 I need to file a complaint, keep a log, take off work, go to a hearing, and hope that the issue gets resolved."

Nothing like doing the barking dog shuffle, is there?

The commenter goes on to say, " I did get a response once that animal noise ordinances are county ordinances so I need to go to the county supervisors to complain. Not him. Even though the problem impacts a large percentage of his constituents, it's not his problem."

If you're reading this in the city of Tucson, you know just how lame our barking dog noise complaint process is. It's handled by the Pima Animal Care Center, a county agency, and here it is in all of its un-glory. It starts with a Sternly Worded Letter. And goes nowhere fast from there.

I've used this joke of a complaint process many times. Even went to mediation once, and oh, was that ever a waste of time.

Want to change this sad state of affairs? Contact the Tucson Mayor and City Council members. Perhaps we could have a barking law like this one.

To the Idiots with the Yard Dogs

Yes, I'm talking to you. The people who leave dogs out in the heat, the cold,  and every other type of weather.

What do you gain by having such a neglected dog? Is it something that compensates for your failure to develop sound relationships with people? We've seen the dog, jumping for joy and wagging its tail when it sees you, even though you hardly give it the time of day. You don't deserve such adulation.

And lucky us. We get to listen to the incessant barking of your lonely dog. It's crying out for companionship. Which you don't seem capable of providing.

Let me ask you a question: Since you don't want to do anything more than just set dishes of food and water out in the yard, why do you even bother having a dog? It's okay not to have a dog. Really, it is.

Matter of fact, if you didn't have any dogs, our neighborhood would be much quieter and more peaceful.

The Department of Shameless Self-Promotion. Do you have clueless neighbors with neglected yard dogs? Have you tried to report the situation to animal control, only to be told that there's nothing they can do? I understand your frustration. And here's a place to show how you feel. Head over to my QuietBarkingDogs store, where you'll find tee shirts and bumper stickers that will express your displeasure to the world.

Thursday, July 19, 2012

This Week's Barking News Roundup - 07/20/12

 Dog owners stand up for their hunting heritage

Translation: They're publicly announcing their preference for being inconsiderate jerks. And the newcomers to the area aren't interested in putting up with such loutish behavior.

PS: I grew up next to a family that had hunting dogs. And they weren't nonstop barkers.

Tip: This news story is open for comments. Follow the above link to add yours.

Pet Peeves: Why Is That Dog Barking So Much?

Excerpt: I'm at a swanky Studio City eatery. I'm enjoying the perfect soup, crispy salad with just the right tang, and the almost famous crowd all around, dressed provocatively and colorfully.


A dog at a table across the patio is letting everyone have an earful.

Tip: This news story is open for comments. Follow the above link to add yours.

LPD: Shooting started over barking dog dispute

Excerpt: Lincoln police say [the victim] was in his front yard with his 2-year-old daughter nearby.  Police say [his next door neighbor] approached them, and an argument broke out... They say this was all because of [the victim's] barking dog. Apparently the two had argued over the dog before.

The Department of Shameless Self-Promotion. My QuietBarkingDogs store is where you can drop hints for clueless barking dog owners. Yes, I'm assuming that those people can actually read and comprehend words, but sometimes that is indeed the case. Here's a tee shirt with a lot of synonyms for barking -- maybe they'll get your drift. Or, how about a bumper sticker for spreading the word far and wide? Like this catchy "Responsible Owners Keep Their Dogs Quiet" sticker?

Wednesday, July 11, 2012

This Week's Barking News Roundup - 07/11/12

Dispute about barking dog turns violent in Lincoln; two shot

Excerpt: A long-simmering dispute between two neighbors about a barking dog turned violent in Lincoln, leading to a shooting that has left at least one dead.

City, county rules address barking

Excerpt: The trickiest part of these situations is that a police officer or deputy has to hear the over-the-limit barking first-hand and document it. By the time the law rolls up, the vociferous dog may be on a barking break. But all you can do is try.

Tip: This news story is open for comments. Follow the above link to add yours.

New Law... Barking Dogs Not Allowed

Excerpt: Yep, you heard it right. If your dog barks in this town, especially at night, and someone complains, you will get a visit from the sheriff. First comes a warning to keep him inside, then they come and take him away.

Tip: The above is from an online discussion group. And let's just say that the proponents of uncontrolled barking aren't getting a lot of love. Feel free to add your thoughts to the festivities.

Barking dog next door - am I being too sensitive?

Short answer: no. Follow the above link to offer your own answer.

The Department of Shameless Self-Promotion. My QuietBarkingDogs store is where you can find the perfect bumper sticker for talking back to those who say you are too sensitive. Tell them how you feel with "Yes I Do Mind If Your Dog Barks." Don't have a car? Well, you still have a body. Put a "Curb Your Dog - And Its Barking" tee shirt on it.

Just a Walk in the Park

Saw the same pit bull that nearly attacked me last month. Once again, it was running loose.

This time, it was in full dash in the park down at the end of the street. Park has a walking trail that's busy from dawn until park closing time at 10 p.m. Fortunately, the loose pit bull didn't menace any of the walkers.

It did get every dog in the neighborhood barking, and that's what got my attention. And, once my attention was on full alert, I called animal control to report the loose pit bull. I made sure that they got the case number from last month's incident.

Well, I've got to hand it to animal control. They couldn't send anyone out to handle the call until 6 a.m. Which means that, if the dog attacks and injures someone, well, sorry, nothing they can do.

I'm glad that these people aren't the cops.

Thursday, July 5, 2012

This Week's Barking News Roundup - 07/05/12

I'd like to start this post by saying that, except for the couple profiled in "A Blind Spot in Their Eco-Consciousness," the neighbors kept their dogs quiet yesterday. See, that wasn't so difficult, now was it? Why don't you make every day like the 4th of July?

Barking Dogs?

Excerpt: A neighbor's dog barks.

And barks.

And barks.

Can the County intervene?

Sorry, no commenting on this story. But you can give the editor a piece of your mind by following the "Contact Us" link at the bottom of the page.

Dog kennel owner barks back at town

Excerpt: One problem: [the owner] never got a permit for the business, because he didn't know he needed one. He rectified the issue during the summer of 2009, when the town planning board gave him an official OK. Everything seemed cool.

Tip: You can comment on this story via the newspaper's blog.

Woman facing charges after barking dogs give chicken coronary

Excerpt: She told the Kansas City star: "I just can’t wrap my mind around it. All of this because of a dead chicken."

Tip: This news story is open for comments. Follow the above link to add yours. 
Teenagers plead guilty after denying attack over barking dog

Excerpt: Two teenagers accused of beating a man "black and blue" when he complained about a noisy dog in a Gloucester house have admitted their guilt.

No one likes a barking dog

Excerpt: Everybody thinks their dog is "amazing" and "wonderfully loving." This does not mean it is OK to let your dog bark. Neighbors have a right to peace in their own backyards. I'm glad you rescued your dog, but this does not give you some sort of special dispensation to let your dog bark and disturb neighbors to the point where they have to leave a note on your car.

The Department of Shameless Self-Promotion. As I've said before, the goal of this blog is to make chronic barking as unfashionable as secondhand smoke. Well, everything that's unfashionable needs a fashionable counterpart. Hence, my QuietBarkingDogs store, where you can find tee shirts that say things like "Your Dog's Yapping Isn't Cute - It's Annoying." Take that, owner of the chicken-killing barker. Or, as a reminder to all neighbors, how about a bumpers sticker that says "Yes You Can Keep Your Dog Quiet."