Late-night bark-fests enough to make many folks howling mad

Here’s a distillation of observations readers shared about dealing with neighbors whose dogs bark all night long:

•Even people who do not like canines do not blame the dogs.

•Pet owners who allow this to go on – whether they are inexplicably oblivious or astonishingly inconsiderate – don’t tend to be receptive to having this nuisance pointed out by a neighbor, no matter how diplomatic the approach.

•Phoning the pet owner at 2 a.m. during a barking marathon sometimes helps make the point.

•Complaining about barking dogs can easily lead to instant hostility and a neighborhood feud. One reader described a situation where the problem was never resolved and only moving brought closure.

•In jurisdictions where authorities will respond to dog-barking reports – in the city of Spokane, that’s SpokAnimal – registering a formal complaint can produce results.

•The fact that many neighbors do not know one another these days can add to the tension as there is not a context of familiarity to soften conversations about this issue.

•Some troubled, emotionally stunted individuals would rather argue and fight than seek a solution.

•After the barking has gone on long enough, hearing it can make you feel like you are being subjected to enhanced interrogation techniques. “I’ll talk. I’ll talk. Just ask me what my unit has planned.”

•Some pet owners are either dishonest or deeply in denial. Asserting that the barking has gone on only for a matter of minutes when it has, in fact, been more than an hour isn’t the basis for fruitful dialogue.

•Some complainers might on occasion be overreacting. A short burst of barking is not the end of the world. Freaking out about a couple of yips and yaps just weakens the case of those with legitimate beefs about all-night howlfests.

Today’s Slice question: What’s your least favorite aspect of the contemporary moviegoing experience?

Write The Slice at P.O. Box 2160, Spokane, WA 99210; call (509) 459-5470; fax (509) 459-5098; e-mail pault@spokesman.com. For previous Slice columns, see www.spokesman.com/columnists. Don’t buy “Northwest” calendars that are really “West Side” calendars.

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