Monday, March 19

what would YOU do

OK, let's hypothetically say that you have a neighbor who has a German Shepherd. The neighbor is located directly behind your house. Your yards are separated by a wooden 5' privacy fence and your homes are about 20' apart. Almost every night the dog barks, waking you and, sometimes, keeps you awake. You know that the dog is barking because the neighbors NEVER take him for walks, and he gets pretty much no attention whatsover. So on one hand, you feel bad for the dog. You've only spoken to the neighbors over the fence two or three times, and so a purposeful confrontation about the barking might have the potential to ruin any chance of a future relationship with the neighbors. So on the other hand, you're concerned about the relationship there and since you plan to live there for a few more years at least, want to keep things civil so you can possibly build a relationship in order to share Christ with them. And if you had a third hand, you'd be really wanting the dog to shut up so you could have some peaceful nights...A fourth hand would be that the city has a noise ordinance, so any barking after 10p is "against the law" but you sure would hate to see the neighbors put an electronic bark collar on the poor dog. But then again, you've never been much of a dog person. Plus you don't know if the call in to the police to report loud barking would mean that the neighbors could find out who made the complaint, and thus we're back to the first concern.

So, what would you do?


Busch family said...

Hey Jenny,
My best advice would be to sleep with a loud fan, and, if Aaron sleeps in a different room, put the baby monitor in your room close to the bed.
We haven't had to deal with noisy neighbors or their pets too much, but it IS annoying to hear the constant barking and/or arguing. We lived in an apartment for a few years, and all the noise (and smoke smells! yuck!) from the neighbors were quite frustrating at times. We seemed to get along with everyone fairly well though since I'm extremely non-confrontational - at least to everyone besides Kevin! :)
Anyway, I'm sure you've already thought of the fan, so I wish you the best in solving your dilemma.

dan and cheryl forbes said...

1-the dog does get exercize on his long leash in the back yard. 2-the neighbors do take him inside now and then. 3-you knew about the dog before you bought the house. 4-they possibly had some not-so-friendly feelings toward you as you worked late working on the house. 5-this summer you will have opportunities to interact with them and possibly talk about the dog then. SO--pray about it, don't judge them (the dog may be chasing burglers away from YOUR back fence, too), and live your faith. Love, Dad

NorthernChic said...

Well, my dad had some similar issues with our neighbor’s dogs when I was young. He bought one of those little "buzzer" things that is silence to a human, but when pointed at an animal and pushed (it looks like a garage door opener) it shuts them up:) Worked almost all the time!! Then there was the time that my dad was mowing the yard and "confronted" the neighbor about the issue and showed him his handy dandy GUN he carried (yes, Dad had a gun worries:) ALTHOUGH, I wouldn’t recommend the later of the two as about 15 minutes later the police showed up threatening to arrest my dad because "he flashed a gun" at the neighbor.

Your dad seemed to have some good advice...pray it stops and the wisdom for what to do. Also, maybe try earplugs, but with a baby that may not work:(

Good luck finding a solution my dear!! I understand the "noise" frustration!!

Love ya,

Shyla said...

i guess after reading the previous comments - mine regarding a bb gun seems inappropriate :)

TwoMuths said...

inappropriate, maybe, but in my frame of mind, it definitely made me laugh...

Kelly Glupker said...

I am SO glad Shyla left her comment first because that was EXACTLY what I was planning on saying! Of course reading your dad's comment made me feel bad about telling you to shoot the dog. Our neighbors have been loud too so I bought some ear plugs. The only thing is - I don't want to wear ear plugs during the day, like when I am talking to Ben or watching T.V. We had some friends with the same problem. It was so bad they ended up moving - but not before making several calls to the police. If you did call the police the neighbors wouldn't know necessarily that the complaint came from you. Of course with everything else the cops have to deal with, I would feel like a dork calling to complain about a dog. Sorry this comment is so wordy. :)

jeileenbaylor said...

Yea, I would just wait for now, try to build a relationship with them, and then casually bring it up when the time seemas best. :o)

ruth said...

Jenny, I think your dad's and Julie's comments are wise, though probably not the most gratifying.

I remember when we first moved in to our house, one of our neighbors came over to our house to inform us that we had been parking in her parking spot for days. My sister-in-law answered the door, and the neighbor assumed she was the owner of the house and really ripped into her--poor Andrea. I'm thankful for John's calm and gracious manner, though he was upset also. He was kind to her and moved his vehicle from her "spot" even though legally, there is no assigned parking in our development. He handled the situation win much more grace than I would have. I was really angry, and wanted to give her a piece of my mind. But now, I'm thankful that I didn't. She's much more friendly to us now. If I had been allowed to go with my natural response, I would have completely destroyed our testimony both with her and with our other neighbors who have been living there as neighbors for almost 20 years. I may not even have had a neighbor to turn to when I got locked out of my house at Christmas. (BTW, a few months later we all got a letter from the township police stating that in our development it is illegal to save or claim parking spots for any reason. We still do not park in her spot.)

I don't mean to suggest that you ignore the problem if it is really that serious, but preserve the relationship, if you can.

Rachel said...

Hi Jenny,
I agree with the last comment as well as your dad's advice. I have been learning recently "A soft answer turneth away wrath but grevious words stir up strife". I have had to put this verse into action in the last few weeks. It is definitely against my nature to not fly off the handle in anger. God's Word is very clear and I have seen first hand how putting it into action works. I will pray that God will not only give you and your husband patience but also that you would have an opportunity to reach your neighbor for the Lord.

TwoMuths said...

Thanks, guys. I have been praying - and I will continue. I'd hoped someone might have a super creative plan for stopping the barking without ruining my testimony! But I guess not! :-) In the eternal scheme of things, a barking dog isn't really that big of a deal. Especially if ignoring it might allow us to have opportunities with the neighbors. I know this - I've had the flu this week and it just seems to bug me a little more than usual. :-) It sometimes is just the little things!

plusultra said...


My mom had the same type of problem with the same breed of dog. My mom got so annoyed dad felt he ought to hide their .22 rifle. Several months ago the dog mysteriously died. Mom claims no knowledge of the cause of death, but when I jokingly pushed her about it she said, "The effectual prayer of a righteous woman availeth much."

Take that for what you will.


The Barkers said...

This is right up my ally! Check out my story titled "Animal Control"
Be glad you have a noice ordinance in place. I would take advantage of it if I was losing sleep.
You could offer to walk their dog for them when the weather is nice. :-) just kidding!
If you call the police, they will not diclose who called them. The neighbor 3 doors down is probably annoyed as well.

MaryBeth said...

Hi Jenny--

we had a similar problem with our house on Wallen St, but not with a dog--noisy house of bachelors. they would party all night long at times, even during the week, and we would lose sleep over it. we, too, didn't want to ruin our testimony. we had thought about calling the police (the whole noise ordinance), and we knew other neighbors were annoyed, but didn't want them to find out it was us, as we did get along with them. they were very friendly and kind to us and our dog. we prayed about it, and eventually wrote a letter that we intended on giving to them...BUT the Lord works in mysterious ways! everything we had an annoyance went away! we didn't ever have to send the letter. some of the rowdy bachelors moved out of the house and it suddenly became quiet. they even asked at a latter date if we could hear them, we told them yes, and they apologized! The Lord was very gracious to us, and we saw at first hand the power of prayer and trust in the Lord, even in the little things. keep in mind, our bedroom and zachary's were right next to their house---zachary slept through it, but it sure was annoying to us! we were able to live our faith and show our testimony without getting anyone angry....Praise the, i would go with your dads advice for now.


Mom Muth said...

Hi Michael & Jenny,

I had fun reading all the answers that everyone sent to you. May God give you grace through all this. When our dog would bark at night, I would sternly tell her to stop barking. Sometimes it worked, but sometimes it didn't. At that point in time, we didn't want to let the dog in. It's a good thing we live in almost a rural setting and our neighbors are more than a hundred yards away from us! Ha!

Michael & Sandra Herriage said...

I had a great answer too, though after reading your dad's answer, I was humbled and reminded again why you have such a great dad. To have a Dad who'll give Godly advice is something to praise God for.

Anyway...we have a different problem. Roosters. Chickens. Unowned by anyone. Sitting in the tree partially hanging over our yard. Crowing and making noise in the middle of the night (what happened to the crack of dawn only?). Mike bought a sling shot and did some shooting in the middle of the night. Actually hit one once. Finally we got a Rottweiler. No more chicken/rooster problem.

Good luck. I look forward to hearing of your great bridges to them and their subsequent newfound faith. :)

Sarah V. said...

Hmmm...I remember seeing an add in one of those magazines where you can buy crazy stuff and found a type of beeper (maybe similar to the bb gun someone mentioned...but I don't think it looks like a gun). Maybe that would help. We have many dogs in the neighborhood that bark constantly during the day, but I haven't noticed anything at night. Maybe he needs a companion...give your neighbor another dog! Okay...maybe not =).