Case 066 - Community - Neighbour

I moved into my new house less than a month ago. Like us, most everyone in the neighborhood has a dog. The couple behind us have a border collie named Riley who is left outside all day long. He barked at us quite a bit when we first moved in, but has calmed down quite a bit since then.

About a week after we moved in the plumber came to hook up a new line in the kitchen. I put our Dalmatian, Bubba out in the back yard to keep him out of the way. Bubba barked to be let in, but I was so busy unpacking I really didn't notice that it had gone on for more than 20 minutes. This was the first and only time this had ever happened. While this was going on, a woman came pounding at my door. When I opened it she asked me if we had just moved in. I said yes, and she replied that if I didn't 'shut that f---ing dog up she would shoot it'.

I was shocked to say the least. I apologized and assured her that as soon as the plumber was gone I would bring the dog in. She screamed at me that the dog barks day and night and is driving her crazy! I asked her where she lived and she told me to f--- off. I asked what her name was, same reply. I told her that the dog is an inside dog and that this was the first time he had ever barked and she told me that she couldn't even read a book and I had "ruined the f---ing neighborhood"! She stormed off and got into her car and tore off down the street. About a minute later I could hear a car horn blaring from behind our house and a little down the street. I was terrified. I called the police and they told me that if she ever came to my house again to call them.

About a week later I missed the turn onto our street and had to turn one block up when there was her car! I stopped to try to write down the address, when she pulled out of the driveway in her much nicer BMW. I drove home, and when I left the house again about half an hour later she was parked outside. As soon as I pulled out of my driveway she was on my tail flashing her high beam lights and flipping me the bird, I could see her in my rear view mirror screaming and she looked insane! About 8 blocks later I dialed the police on my cell phone and whipped into a turn lane. She pulled along side and screamed some more and then tore away. The police advised me to wait for them in a parking lot which I did.

By the time the police arrived she had called them as well. The officer told me that she would have a different story, and that he would talk to us both but that I should feel I could go home safely. I told him about the two incidents with this woman, he seemed to think it was far fetched, I guess. He went to her house, came back to mine with a story of how she came to discuss my barking dog which the neighbors all hate (I had contacted everyone and no-one even knew I had a dog!) and that it had not gone well but that she would come by in a few days and try to start over again as though nothing had happened. She would even forgive me for following her on the street in a harassing manner. She was very calm (aren't bullies always calm when they have to explain themselves?) and he found her story to be quite credible.

I started videotaping our dog. It's very boring stuff, mostly him sleeping on the sofa, him sleeping on the floor, him sleeping on the bed, him going outside to go potty. I also started to videotape him being inside the house from outside the house while the neighbor's dogs bark and bark and bark. I videotaped him outside not barking while all the other dogs in the neighborhood bark. A barking dog joins the chorus, he doesn't sit and listen!

Just as things seemed to settle down we got a notice from Animal Control regarding a barking dog complaint saying that if it continued to happen that we would be fined $500, and eventually our dog would be destroyed. I called them and told them my story, which he found incredible, and he told me he would contact the woman who complained. I had a neighbor call him and verify that at the time this supposedly happened that she was outside and our dog was not barking and that this woman was mistaken as to which dog is barking.

The Animal Control officer called me back to tell me that he had talked to the woman who made the complaint and that she seemed very reasonable. He told me that he knew from her that the dog was such a nuisance that the police had come to the house to deal with us. He should have known that the police won't respond to dog barking complaints, but that is another story. He told me that she sat in her yard and even from her back room she could see through her fence into our back yard. I explained that her back yard does not actually connect to mine and that she is mistaken. He told me that she sat in her yard and watched my border collie (!) bark for 4 and a half hours that day! I just said "My dog is a Dalmatian." He said "What kind of dog do you have?" I said "I have a Dalmatian. Are you telling me that she has been making our lives miserable and she didn't even bother to find out what kind of dog we have?" He said "Well, I guess so." He told me that he had also spoken to my neighbor who had confirmed that our dog wasn't the one that barks, and as far as he was concerned this issue had been resolved.

I wish it was that easy for me. Since that day I have been videotaping Bubba every 30 minutes no matter where he is or what he is doing. We went to Riley's owners and told them what had been happening, and they are at a loss of what to do. He is their second dog, and they are considering getting rid of him if she causes them trouble. I have been videotaping Riley when he barks, not to get him into trouble but to prove who is really barking the next time this psychopathic woman tries to railroad us into trouble. My nerves are shot. I never know when we are going to hear from her next, or what she is going to come up with. I hate our new house, it feels like a prison.

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