An article in this morning's Gazette stirs up all kinds of emotions in yours truly. The main subject is the tethering of dogs, but it touches on a few other doggy issues as well like pooper scooping and vicious mutts. The one thing it does not address is barking dogs. And that is what I am most interested in.
I am interested because I have a neighbor with a very, very large and very, very loud dog. Since I live in one of those older neighborhoods where houses are built ten feet or so apart, the dog is a real problem. When it barks I hear it. Whether it's inside the house or outside in the yard, and whether or not I am inside my house or in my yard, when it barks I hear it. This fact is made all the worse by the fact that the dog is not only loud, but completely insane. It barks at any stimulus, real or imagined. At anytime, day or night, it will suddenly and without any provocation other than that which exists in its own evil soul, will bolt outside through its barn-sized doggy door and bark like there's no tomorrow and it's his job to warn humanity of impending doom. The proximity of the houses makes it impossible to ignore or escape.
When I am in bed at 3:00AM and the dog decides to have one of its barking fits there is no possible way that anyone with normal hearing ability sleeping 20 or 30 feet away can stay asleep. Yes, I've tried earplugs; yes, I have tried white noise generators; yes, I have very much considered canineicide, but, so far, I haven't succumbed to this temptation. But I can't guarantee that some night, fueled by sleep deprivation, I might throw the dogs some kibbles and bits of cyanide.
The City of Charleston has a dog barking ordinance that reads:
No person shall own or keep within the city any dog which shall, by barking, howling, squalling, crying or in any other manner whatsoever, disturb the
comfort or quiet of any reasonable person.
Now I am a reasonable person, at least I was before this dog showed up next door. I have spoken to my neighbor but they are not disturbed by the barking AND they are not reasonable persons, so apparently the ordinance doesn't apply to them. I have spoken to the police, but they say they need to witness the dog barking and I am convinced that the only trick the dog knows is "Shut Up When The Police Are Around" because every time I have had the opportunity to demonstrate the problem to police officer the dog is completely silent. This had caused me to seriously consider adopting a policeman to come and live with us.
So, when I read this story in the paper, bleary-eyed from another 4:45AM wake up call from the devil-beast next door, I find little compassion in my weary soul for dogs that are tethered. Instead of debating this matter further, I wish our City leaders would address the tethering of dog owners. Especially those who live next door to me.