Open letter to my annoyed neighbor

Dear neighbor,

I got the anonymous note you left on my door about my annoying dog barking. I am sorry you were disturbed by her. I understand that she barks and I want you to know that we’ve taken steps to alleviate your suffering.

While I understand that you may feel uncomfortable about knocking on my door and having a conversation with me about my dog, this will never feel like a neighborhood if we live in fear and suspicion of one another. We’ve lived here a year and a half.  I’ve gotten to know some of my neighbors and feel that I am on speaking terms with all that I’ve met. I hope that we have not made ourselves seem so unapproachable that you could not knock on our door and chat with us about our dog.

There is something vaguely threatening about an anonymous note. As you probably know our next-door-neighbor was brutally murdered soon after we moved in. Our kind neighbors reassured us that this wasn’t the sort of thing that happens regularly in our neighborhood and we shared their grief at losing a lovely neighbor and friend.

In March after we moved in we got Greta. For the past year we’ve worked on training her not to bark by squirting her and reprimanding her when we are home, but she’s only turned a year old in January and is still very exuberant and puppy-like.

We’ve ordered a device that will emit a noise only dogs can hear within fifty feet of barking. We will put this in the yard. It has good ratings on Amazon so hopefully it will work. It should get here on Friday. We also commit to close her dog door at 10:30.

I love my dog and want to keep her. I don’t want anything to happen to her. I don’t know who you are or how you will respond if you are disturbed again after leaving the note. The anonymity  means I can’t hear your story or tell you mine so I’m left wondering:

Will this person wait until Friday to see if this device works or will they call animal control tomorrow?

The anonymity leaves you with options you wouldn’t have if I knew your identify so I’m left wondering:

Would one of my neighbors be capable of harming my dog?

According to the noise ordinance “An owner or handler may not keep an animal that makes frequent or long, continued noise that is disturbing to a person of normal sensibilities.” I’ve checked with two of my neighbors who seem of normal sensibilities who tell me they haven’t been disturbed or noticed long periods of barking. I am monitoring and recording when and how long she barks in case you choose to involve authorities.

 

Again, I do get that it’s risky to knock on a door. It’s risky to confront a neighbor about something you don’t like. But I will always seem like a suspicious stranger if you refuse to knock. We care that our dog disturbs you and are working with our dog to reduce her barking. I just wanted you to know that and I wish that I could tell you in person.

Your choice to remain anonymous, neighbor,  has the potential to create a suspicion and distance between me and my other neighbors, but I refuse to allow this note to do that. I can’t be forever wondering whether the person I’m chatting with is the person who wrote the note. I’m just going to ask and hopefully we can work this out in a neighborly way. Please just come and talk to us.

Thanks,

Maureen