Neighbor problems... Getting rather frustrated. :(

Discussion in 'Random Ramblings' started by SilverPhoenix, Sep 5, 2010.

  1. SilverPhoenix

    SilverPhoenix Bantam Fanatic

    Dec 15, 2009
    Penn Valley, CA
    As a warning, I think this post might get long! I like to explain things at length, haha, so I apologize if I bore anyone.

    My mom and I have a neighbor that is causing us a lot of anxiety. [​IMG] For some background information before I explain the situation: My mom and I are both night owls. My mom works night shift as a nurse, from 7 pm to 7 am, and I've just always been a night person. I'm especially inclined to be doing things at night during the summer as it's hot out during the day, and I don't care for the heat at all. We have three dogs, a border collie and two corgis, who we absolutely adore. They are very friendly and sweet dogs.

    We own an acre and keep to ourselves for the most part. At one point our neighbor (different neighbor) complained that our chickens were too close to their property line, so we moved the coop (it cost us over $500 to move, as it's a large in-ground structure that literally had to be disassembled and put back together again--basically like building it all over again). We want to fence our whole property but we can't afford it right now.

    Our neighbor, let's call her SN for "scary neighbor", moved in to her mother's house after her mother moved to a convalescent home. At first we were on fine terms with her. My mom even gave her work housecleaning for us when SN was having financial difficulties. We helped care for her cat for free when she was gone, we gave her an extra litter box when she asked, and we have generally been pretty friendly towards her. We're not the sorts to treat a neighbor badly at all. I've heard her have yelling matches with people in her house that were loud enough that I could hear them in my house over the TV at least twice or thrice, but I stayed out of whatever that was.

    Last July while I was in Japan, apparently my mom had my corgi Honey outside at 9 PM or so (SN had been outside until shortly before this all occurred), Honey barked some, and unexpectedly SN blew up about it. She claimed she was going to call her lawyer and sue us, said she hadn't slept in a year because of our dogs barking, yelled all kinds of expletives, and when my mom tried to come over the next day and talk to her about it she said she didn't want us on her property without permission.

    Well, we didn't hear a word from her for a long time. Then she suddenly resorted to a different tactic regarding our dogs.

    Now, like I said, we're night owls. We sometimes take the dogs out late, we try not to take them out later than 11 PM out of courtesy but sometimes the dogs need to go out later. When the dogs leave the house, they get excited and bark four or five times and then stop and go silent after that. I'm trying to get them to be quiet when I take them out, but they get excited about the skunk that hangs around and just going outside is exciting to them. Most of the time the dogs are in with us, they are not left outside on their own at all. Their barking when they go out is very brief, maybe a second or two, before they go quiet.

    SN now screeches awful things and expletives at us whenever she hears the dogs past about 9 PM. She yells, slams doors, calls us the b word, and so on.

    Now I realize that it isn't the nicest that we take our dogs out late at night. I know we're not entirely without blame. But like I said, the sound they make is very brief and not particularly loud. The dogs are on our property the whole time. Other people in the neighborhood leave dogs outside in fenced backyards all night and the dogs bark and bark all night at everything. Our dogs bark in one brief spurt for one or two seconds occasionally past 11 PM and then they're quiet. When she's in her yelling sprees she'll say things like "Some people sleep! Why do you do this every night?! Don't you ever sleep?!" and plenty of other more nasty things that are unrepeatable on BYC.

    To be honest, my mom and I are rather scared of dealing with her. If SN sees me outside, even without dogs and when I'm just walking out to the chickens and paying her no mind, she'll go inside and slam her door loudly on the way. It makes me scared to take the dogs out at night even if I need to, even if it's as early as 9 PM and SN has her lights off. It makes me upset that I feel like she is controlling what we do with our own good dogs on our own property, and (as far as we know) not breaking any sort of ordinance or noise law or anything. I'm afraid she'll do something to retaliate, like harm our animals. I've heard of dogs getting poisoned over petty squabbles like this, and I would be inconsolable if something happened to any of my dogs or other animals. I've tried to just ignore her and go about what I'm doing, but I'm easily intimidated, so is my mom, and it's easier said than done.

    Now, note that I am making an effort to try not to take the dogs out past 11 PM when possible, and I am also trying to train them to be quiet when they go out the door, but other than that I could use some advice or thoughts or stories of similar situations. I know we're not perfect neighbors, but we're certainly not the worst either... VERY brief spurts of barking not even once a night seems like a pretty small thing to get so angry about, and regardless of her being angry I really don't think she's going about resolving this issue in the right way. (To be honest her tactics almost make me want to host late-night parades and dance parties and invite some elephants on to the property.) I think she really should just get some earplugs if she's that sensitive to the noise and I've considered putting some in her mailbox, but I don't want to come off as passive-aggressive.

    Feel free to state opinions but please be gentle with them! Like I said I'm a bit easily intimidated. Also if I didn't explain something well enough or made any typos, I'll clarify in the morning, it's currently almost 3:30 AM and it's time for bed for even this night owl.

  2. sonew123

    sonew123 Poultry Snuggie

    Mar 16, 2009
    onchiota NY
    Sorry your neighbor has to be such a tweaker! how about muzzles for the dogs after 9pm?
  3. Boyd

    Boyd Recipient of The Biff Twang

    Mar 14, 2009
    the gremlin in me wants you to get a long crower with a light on a timer that turns it on at 3am

    Barking at 9pm? Pahleeze. I usually go to bed between 7:30-9pm. A barking dog isn't going to bother me. Some people are just crazy.
  4. Anguissette

    Anguissette Songster

    Jan 31, 2010
    Eastern NC
    I cannot imagine a dog barking 3 or 4 times at 9 pm making a normal person this irate.....she sounds loony toons!

  5. thaiturkey

    thaiturkey Songster

    Feb 22, 2010
    I'd say that your neighbour has, to say the least, a stress problem. She's probably waiting for your dogs to bark so that she has an excuse to sound off. Could you find out precisely what the laws are in your area about domestic animals and noise? That information would tell you where you stand and might help you to work out what to do.
  6. mickistoy

    mickistoy Chirping

    Jun 21, 2010
    northern ohio
    sounds like you need a large visually intimidating person to hang out for a bit and see if she doesnt back down a little [​IMG]
    we have dogs in our neighborhood at all hours, not all nite mind you just enough to let something know that this is my place and you need to get! lol
    sorry about your sn......i hate it when you have to deal with people like that!
  7. Brindlebtch

    Brindlebtch Songster

    Apr 15, 2009
    You aren't doing anything wrong. Don't let this person run your life like that. It sounds like you are doing what you can to be a good neighbor. You can't do anything more than try to teach your dogs to be quiet -when they gotta go they gotta go!

    We have neighbors that get up at 5am and let their dog out. It will usually bark a few times and then quiet down. Their backyard is very close to our bedroom window. Sometimes it wakes us up, sometimes not - but that is their schedule and we don't expect them to change their lives because their dog occassionally wakes us up. We have dogs, too. AND chickens. They are good neighbors.

    It is very unpleasant and stressful to have a neighbor like that, but don't let her push you around. Try to ignore her and live your life like she doesn't exist.

    The evil person in me says get an air horn to respond to her yelling. She yells, you give her a real short blast. I wonder if that would train her not to yell at you or at least decrease the yelling..............

  8. Mattemma

    Mattemma Crowing

    Aug 12, 2009
    My neighbors teen children/friends were out in their driveway a few nights ago.My dogs are outside and one started barking when he heard the talking.I got woken up and was about to yell at the dog when I heard all the kids talking..They were chillin' in the driveway. I let the dog bark. He was doing his job.

    I don't think 9pm is bad. I hear yappers going at it all day long.Now if you hava run right next to SN's bedroom window I could get it,but her behavior even with that is childish.You don't go calling people a B everytime you can see them.She is acting like a brat.If there are laws she can call and complain.I would however be cautious about poisons getting tossed in the yard.People that act like her will certainly consider getting rid of the *problem*.And then you know what happens??? They find something else that annoys them and the cycle starts all over again.Sounds like you have NFH(neighbor from hell).

    The fence is worth it.Best money we spent. Just do a boundary line survey or she will B about the fence placement.We had our line markers up for 2 years before we had money for a fence.No one respected those markers until a fence actually kept them at bay.
  9. Boyd

    Boyd Recipient of The Biff Twang

    Mar 14, 2009
    Quote:you could turn the hose on her, it's what we used to do to the dogs when we were kids [​IMG] Shuts em up fast [​IMG]

  10. greyhorsewoman

    greyhorsewoman Songster

    Mar 3, 2008
    Endless Mts, NE PA
    Your neighbor is being unreasonable, but that is just a fact. I seriously doubt a few barks after 9pm would be classified as a 'noise nuisance.' I have a corgi too and we joke that she has to bark a few times if she goes out at night 'to scare away any 'corgi-monsters.' [​IMG] It may be inconvenient, but can you take them out on flexi-leads after dark? That way, they wouldn't be as prone to bark, just do their thing and come back in. You are correct to be alert to your unreasonable neighbor doing something crazy.

    I know you mentioned you plan on fencing in your whole back yard, but perhaps an initial project of a wood security fence between the two properties should be put on the 'to-do as soon as possible' list. One should not have to live under such stress from unreasonable people. I feel for you.

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