Friday, January 9, 2009

Maybe we need one of those white noise machines

I’m pretty sleepy this afternoon. You probably think it’s because I had one of those big expensive sandwiches for lunch, but you're wrong, I had a salad. Someone put the batteries back in my scale and it’s been taunting me so I’m off even cheap sandwiches for a while.

Our neighbor’s dog was barking for a long time last night ("bark, bark, bark, bark, until you could hear them all over the park"—anyone? 5 points if you are singing along with me). It might have kept me up, if I had noticed it. But I didn’t.

Someone else did though- my husband, Sylvan. I first noticed him noticing when he started to “fluff” his pillow (that's code for-he was punching it repeatedly and tossing and turning) and sighing loudly. As soon as he got the idea that I too was awake, he said “Can you believe that dog?” I knew better than to say “What dog?” so I listened intently and sure enough there was barking, constant and pretty loud barking to tell you the truth.

It was too much, he was awake and there was no way he could be expected to sleep until that dog got quiet so he could enjoy the soothing sounds of police helicopters making their rounds and keeping us safe.

We waited (I was dozing off, but don’t tell okay? It might look like I wasn’t feeling his pain if he thought I was sleeping), “bark, bark, bark”. I tell you, I don’t know how those dogs do it. It takes stamina that’s for sure. Finally there was no alternative but to take action. Him, not me.

The process began by figuring out just which neighbor the offending canine belonged to. Once ownership was determined it was time to give them a call on the phone. No answer. Obviously the next step is to call the non-emergency police line, unfortunately he didn’t have that number on speed dial so he called 911 and asked them for it (I swear, I wish I was making this up). No luck. The policy has recently been changed, barking dogs fall under Animal Control now, their doors will be open at 7:00 a.m. I felt so sorry for the person answering the non-emergency line as my husband began to tell her how that was the stupidest thing he'd ever heard of and how he wasn’t going to get a wink of sleep thanks to that dog and how his neighbors aren’t answering their phone and now what's he supposed to do? I hope they didn’t take it too hard when he thanked them for nothing. He was sleep deprived you know.

Things began to get desperate. He stepped out on to the balcony and yelled-to the dog-“Shut up already!”
Something told me that while barking dogs might fall under animal control, screaming neighbors were probably still a police matter. This is going to surprise you, but that dog didn’t even pause for a second. “Bark, bark, bark!”

I knew it wasn’t going to be good when he started to get dressed. “Please” I begged “remember, we have children. You don’t want to be that neighbor.” “What!? I’m just going to knock on their door! Do you think I’m crazy?!”---uh, yeah.

Guess what? They didn’t answer.

Remember those cops? The ones who don’t do barking dogs? There happened to be one on our street. I guess he thought Sylvan who, for whatever reason had decided not to turn on his headlights as he embarked on this mission of his (trying to launch a surprise attack no doubt) looked suspicious. Thinking he's hit the jackpot, he pleads his case to the officer, who repeated the policy and referral to Animal Control and threatened to ticket Sylvan for driving without identification. In the end he took pity and sent him home after admitting that he too could hear the dog and it was indeed a bit annoying.

After being released on his own recognizance he came in and tried to call the neighbor one more time. She finally answered, apologized and took her dog in.

Peace was restored to the land.


Becky said...

I get like that when I'm sleep deprived. But I'm pretty sure Animal Control isn't going to come and take my children away for me.


Cheryle said...

I don't know why men (mine, too) think the poor person who answers the phone makes the rules! Or why they think giving that person a hard time will a.) get the rule changed; b.) inform the person of something he/she has never thought of before; or c.)earn the cooperation of the person in their sights.

It's a great mystery, even greater, perhaps, than how your neighbor could sleep through her own dog's loud barking!