Re "Barking mad," Opinion, July 2
My neighbor told me his barking dogs were there to prevent vandalism on his property. What he fails to grasp is that the vandalism was his neighborhood's way of responding to ignored, unloved, untrained dogs imprisoned in his backyard. A dog is either a part of the family -- though not the head of the house -- or what "George" created: trouble.
Forty years ago, my dad solved the problem that Kerry Madden has by calling our neighbor at 2 a.m. and saying, "Your dog is barking," then hanging up. After the fourth night's call, the dog moved inside, permanently.
Dogs can be heard barking all day and night in the hills of Mount Washington. I've been forced several times to take the legal route that ends up in a mediation session between dog owner and complainant.
But this method seldom works. I've been accused of being a dog hater (I am not), told to get on anti-anxiety medication and that barking dogs are sounds that are part of living in the city. Owners refuse to get barking-dog collars for their barkers because they claim they are cruel. Suggestions of fences, keeping dogs inside or dog training often go unheeded.
The legal process is long and frustrating -- especially because the dogs continue to bark all the while. Maybe animal control could fine the irresponsible dog owners. The city has encouraged owners to pick up dog litter, provided dog parks and enforced leash laws. Now it is time to enforce the city code on excessive barking for the peace of us all.
I advise Madden to investigate the possibility that the dogs who are ruining her life with their incessant barking are being abused.
If her neighbor, who has shown absolutely no compassion for her predicament, is so uncaring about the misery of another human being, he might very well be mistreating his dogs as well.