Posted in barking+dog, Sheriff

My Mom is My Advocate

Here’s the letter my wonderful mom wrote to the silly people next door.

Dear 230 Coral Reef Avenue,

This morning when I was working there was a knock at my door and the Sheriff arrived. I asked her to come in, and she looked pretty embarrassed to be there. I assume you called her, since you had written to me before and said you would do so if my dogs continued to bark. You said you would consider it a case of “deliberate harassment.”

How silly. Do you really believe I have nothing else to do with my life but harass my neighbors? What do you think this is, high school? I’m your age, and I’m a woman who works from home, just as I assume you do.

I told her the same thing I have told you: I do my best to stop the dogs from barking. I close the dog door at 9 PM and leave it closed until it is light, whenever that happens to be and the dogs wake me to go out. We don’t have loud parties, we don’t play music, we don’t do ANYTHING that constitutes a real nuisance. The worst thing we do is bark.

When the dogs go out in the morning, there are often dogs and people running around behind my back fence (and yours, too). I think some kids cut through there, and I also think one of our other neighbors lets his dog out back to walk himself.

These things make my dogs bark. When I hear the dogs bark, I yell at them and bring them in. Of course if I am on the phone, in the shower, not there, or not dressed, I can’t do that too quickly.

I know you consider this personal harassment. And of course I consider it “doing my best.” We probably have to respectfully agree to disagree, since the Sheriff told me this morning that the call that brought her there was an ordinance, not a law, and that the dogs did not appear to be mistreated. Therefore, she did not call Animal Control, who – even if she did call them – would issue me a citation but couldn’t do anything else. The dogs are tagged, licensed, fed and cared for. You have a right to live in peace, and I have a right to have pets.

However, they are DOGS. Dogs bark.

I’ve been to see you personally, and have explained that I am doing my best, and that, indeed, I am only here for the summer with the dogs anyway.

You might want to think about opening your heart and realizing that I might be lonely, and that’s why I have dogs. I live alone. I am a widow. You ladies have a relationship. I don’t. All I have is a dog.

No one can control everything in their world. Calling the Sheriff is rather a waste of taxpayer dollars, don’t you think?


Francine Hardaway

6 thoughts on “My Mom is My Advocate

  1. Great blog, its my first visit, brought but this very story. Having two large breed dogs I would love to agree with you that your neighbors are being ridiculous. But having two young children I cant help but take their side.

    I recently moved away from a neighbor with a dog that loved to bark. They would let her out first thing in the morning and she would run along the back yard barking at people as they jogged down our alleyway or as other kids walked to the bus stop. And every single morning she would wake my children.

    Our neighbor said exactly what you are saying. They did their best to keep the dog quiet, but dogs will be dogs.

    Strange, I have two large breed dogs, a full time job, two children, a cat and two goldfish and I still find a way to keep my dogs from annoying the neighbors. Something tells me my neighbor wasnt really being honest with me or themselves.

    In the end I moved for various reasons but that was one of them. So again, as a reader of your fine email newsletter I would love to agree with you but something tells me that you arent being honest with your neighbors, or yourself, about your efforts to keep the dog quiet.

  2. Bid daddy,

    Thank you, thank you, thank you, for understanding our position. After 3 months of 2 am 3 am and 6 am awakenings you must take some action or go crazy. I am not willing to allow her and her dog to drive me crazy. She feels she and her dogs should not be constrained in any way. I feel they should. Her dog’s right to bark ends at my ears, especially at those early hours. While there has been some improvement it is not nearly enough. While I try to resolve this by following the procedures set down by the nuisance ordinance the local authorities are not supportive. Still I look for some resolution in the future. Least it go unstated I am not the only neighbor complaining. 3 other households complain bitterly about the racket. They just don’t feel calling the cops is going to solve the problem. I feel the need to at least give it a try. Not that I’ve gotten too far yet.

    More than you probably wanted to know, but your comment just so brightened my day and there have not been many of those lately around here.

    May you have many good quiet days, big daddy.

  3. Francine

    You are not just content to invade my life for the past 3 months you now invade my privacy by posting my address on this blog. I stongly recommend that you remove my address from this blog immediately or I will contact my attorney.

  4. LOL! Seriously? There’s no way the first 4 comments are from different IP addresses. Sounds like a conversation with themselves.

    BTW, I feel the same way. My boxer decides to communicate via barking more often than we’d like her to. Mostly when she needs to go potty, but she gets pretty loud about it. She also jumps, spins around, and runs in circles until we take her out. The worst part of it is, we’re in the second floor of an apartment. And your neighbor thinks she has it bad! :/

  5. I’ve got a large breed dog too and sometimes she barks. That’s what dogs do. She has recently entered adolescents and she is barking more than I’d really like her to. Since she is being trained as a protection dogs and barking is one of the things that she will be required to do when guarding, I have been reluctant to discourage her from barking. Once trained to guard with barking, I will train a “quiet” command and additionally train her that it is not polite to bark without an immediate threat or problem that needs to be addressed. I’ll start training the quiet command using water in a spray bottle. If that doesn’t work I’ll use her remote collar to train the command and as a last resort I’d use a “no bark” collar to quickly solve the problem. You can check out the forums at to find other solutions to barking. They have some really fantastic information there.

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