I grew up a cat person because we had cats – simply by default. I have never had a dog in my life.
Well…that’s not entirely true. There is Snoopy.
Who has his own Twitter account…but I digress.
Not having had a dog, I am therefore unfamiliar with barking sounds in my residence. Until now. The unfortunate thing is this is not of my choosing…or coming from within my residence.
The wife and I celebrated seven years in our current home back in April. That was about the same time Yippy Dog arrived on the patio of a house almost directly behind ours…a patio only thirty yards from our own.
We refer to the canine in question as Yippy Dog because, a) we don’t know his or her given name and, b) the never-ending sounds repeatedly coming from the dog are best described as Yips.
The “i” is silent.
The dog is not.
In fact, from the very moment Yippy Dog made its neighborhood debut (and believe me most of the neighborhood knew of its arrival) the barking has taken on almost a Hitchcockian quality. After all, the suspense takes place within a single setting…not knowing for sure when the next set of Yips will come. Tension mounts as you think you are entering a sustained period of peace…only to be jolted back to frightening reality when the barking resumes.
For when Yippy Dog is released onto its patio, it does not stop barking. At all. Until it is let back inside.
Then again, perhaps Yippy Dog NEVER stops barking…in which case the home’s residents could perhaps be excused by those not directly in the path of the Yips. But for those of us who get a steady, relentless dose of Yips all day long…we are all starting to think we indeed share residence with Yippy Dog.
The challenge of co-existing with Yippy Dog would be reduced greatly if he or she was allowed back into the residence as soon as it began to bark. But Yippy Dog is not. And that is where the problem lies. Yippy Dog is knowingly left outside to bark. And bark. And bark some more.
Yippy Dog is a surprising choice for our neighbors, whom we have barely heard a peep from in seven years…unless you count that ill-fated attempt they made to establish a mini-jungle gym on said patio in Year One. We assume the thought was it would be a nice place for their smallest child to play. We also assume the gym was deconstructed within two months of its construction because ALL the local children thought it would be a nice place to play.
Other than that brief moment in time, these neighbors have been the model of tranquility. In fact, we originally tried to rationalize the arrival of Yippy Dog as the neighbors temporarily taking possession while a family member was on vacation or otherwise indisposed.
But as we turn the calendar to June…Yippy Dog appears to be going nowhere…except onto the patio.
Just about all of our neighbors own a dog. They all bark from time to time. No biggie. My wife grew up with dogs occasionally visiting her home. She assures me considering all the dogs around us – and in such close proximity – our neighbors are very responsible and considerate in maintaining barking to a minimum. A very small issue.
That’s the other thing about Yippy Dog. It’s one of the smallest dogs we’ve ever seen. We can’t fathom where the lungs and stamina come from. The ratio of its size to sound would be considered pure sci-fi…if we weren’t hearing it daily in hi-fi.
It is so very small I am sure on the occasion neighbors look out their windows yet again to lay another set of scornful eyes upon it, they only find patio. It’s as if the patio is barking. You sometimes don’t even know where Yippy Dog is.
I mowed our yard the other day and could hear Yippy Dog above the mower. The decibel “tale of the tape” is the average push mower three feet away produces 95-100 decibels. I have since educated myself to the fact some dogs can actually get to that level. Which is certainly the case in this case. My mower can’t drown out Yippy Dog…even if we can’t see where it is.
And we’re not running our mower at 6 AM. You get the picture – complete with sound – and it isn’t a pretty one.
Fortunately, I have also since educated myself I am far from alone in my frustration. In fact, there are several companies who make products to try to secretly train neighbor’s dogs to stop their attention-getting and boredom barking…although I’m not sure I am totally comfortable with a product called the “Dog Silencer Pro.”
Then again, they do have a lovely animated video which could conceivably entice those folks in our position to consider going that route to remedying a neighbor dog’s animation.
Otherwise, there soon may very well be a face-to-face discussion with our neighbors as to how we can peacefully co-exist with Yippy Dog. One thing is certain in this matter.
A dog’s bark IS worse than its bite.