Screaming Kids and Barking Dogs

I’ve always been a person who loves kids and dogs. Up until recently.

You see, my new neighbors just moved in. I didn’t even actually realize I had new neighbors for a while, because since the day I moved in, I’d once seen a mom and daughter coming out of the apartment across the hall, so I assumed the twosome had always been there. And then I stepped out of my apartment the other day and a man with a small boy was standing in the doorway, and he said “Hi,” “The family’s all moved in!,” then he smiled and added, “We’re not too loud though.”

Which really ought to have raised a red flag right there, because why would he have felt the need to preface our neighborship with this statement if there wasn’t some truth to the contrary. This poppa of a girl plus twin toddler boys is a clever one – knowing that if he put it out there right off the bat, then it would sensitize me to his family and cause me to tolerate more kid-screaming than my nature by default would endure. And those twin are awfully cute, running down the hall in their underoos. And hearing his daughter in the elevator calling her dad out for wearing a pink shirt – that gave me a chuckle.

But dammit if today didn’t send me over the edge. The elevator doors opened and before I even stepped out, I heard it. “Rooof… Rooof… Rooof…” every 2 seconds in a loop. I cocked my head to the side (much like a dog itself would do) to orient myself to the unexpected sound. I tell ya, one of the key selling points of the building I live is in the no pets policy. Which, sure, if I had a dog, then I’d be bummed out about, but I don’t have a dog, and thus I am quite happy not to have to live with anyone else’s beast. And much to my dismay, the barking grew louder the closer I got to my own apartment. It got the loudest when I was standing right in front of my own door. Which is also right in front of my neighbor’s door.

After an hour at home, hearing this barking clear as day, my blood started to bubble. The frustration was building. I stomped across the hall (which is like one step across the hall so the stomping lost it’s dramatic effect) and rang the doorbell. My rational mind told me that if humans were home, then the dog would not be barking like that, but I had to try something (anything) to make it stop. I rang the doorbell, and of course there was no answer. But the dog stopped barking. I smiled a half-hopeful smile. But as soon as I got back in my apartment, it started up again, to no avail. So then I began to write an overly-nice “Dear Neighbor” note.

After two rewrites each successively less sugar-coated, I decided I don’t want to deal with my neighbors directly (I mean, really, are they going to apologize profusely and muzzle their dog?), but rather, to let management solve the problem.

And if that fails, there’s always Plan B: Posting suburban home ads on their door.

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