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Thread: What to do with a Grouchy Neighbor?

  1. #1
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    Hi All,

    Ok it was 11:30pm tonight, and I am up at our country farm. I just got here this evening - I had spent the last 2 weeks at our city house and camping with the cub and boy scouts. My husband and older son are back in the city. The news is on, the little boys are asleep, and our dog is out barking at something. During this summer other neighbors have reported bears, mountain lions (or cougars), foxes, deer, and all types of crittes coming down out of the Cascades and into our little valley, so our dog occassionally goes out at night to bark when he hears things.

    Anyway, it is hot and I have all the windows open, and I have fabric all spread out over the table with my mats, templates, and rotary cutter just cutting pieces for my next project, when I hear something that sounds like a car coming down our 700 foot long lane. I look out the front porch and just about have a heart attack when I see an older woman in her bath robe. I open the door and she starts screaming and threatening me about my barking dog. She goes on and on about how all the other neighbors are upset about it and allegedley how they are going to call the sheriff; then she went on about how my dog barks in the morning - and made some nasty remarks about me going back to bed in the morning and dog is out barking, etc.

    All I said was "I just got up here" I didn't know what else to say. Her ranting woke up my two young sons.

    Don't know what to do. We have lived up here on the weekends for the last 2 1/2 years, and this is the first I have heard about my dog.

    We do share the lane with this neighbor and we have financially helped them out to the tune of $750 with the cost of paving their driveway access to the road even though we did not have to - we were just trying to be good neighbors.

    I called my husband so upset that I was in tears, and he says don't worry about - she is just a grouchy person who is jealous that we have a nicer building and better looking gardens. He says not to worry or do anything, except keep the dog indoors. We are working on a fence between our property and the grouchy neighbor, and he said this will encourage us to build the fence faster and get a gate on the lane.

    I am thinking I should call the sheriff tomorrow morning and file a report that the crazy woman came onto my property screaming at me. After all, she does have all our phone numbers - a phone call would have worked.

    Has anybody ever had this happen to them? Any suggestions or advice would be greatly appreciated

    And to the board administrators - if this post needs to be moved, please do so and let me know.

    Thank you for reading. It is so late now and I still so upset, I think I will put away the mat, rotary cutter, and templates. I don't want to make a mistake in cutting for my next project.

  2. #2
    Roben's Avatar
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    LaurieJane, we have one of those - Hugs and sympathies to you!

    Our neighbor suffered a terrible tragedy 3 years ago - but even before that I've been told she wasn't very nice. We moved here in April, and we have the 2 large dogs in my avatar. We brought the Boyz on the last trip, and I took them outside after we'd been here all of 20 minutes to start showing them the boundaries of their yard (there's no fence here.) Buddy (the brown/black one) got a little close to one of her bushes - and out she came with her hand raised. Yes, she was going to hit my dog - which we don't do, period. I stood there for a 10 minute lecture about misbehaving dogs - while my 2 sat patiently on either side of me :wink:

    A friend of mine, after hearing about this incident, told me that my neighbor was misunderstood by many - and I trust my friend's judgment, so I decided to be as nice as I could. I've since found out that previous people here in the house had a fence kennel out back (I put a picnic table and flower pots there :D ) and had a philosophy about their dogs that is - well - different from ours. It has taken a few months, but our neighbor has now seen with her own eyes that my Boyz stay in their yard, aren't out without DH or I ever and they listen to us. (We're in town, not on an acreage.) I've made it a point to always say Hello, I've taken her some jam - and have sat with her and listened a little.

    It's not all better - she's chopping down berry bushes and keeps talking about spraying weeds (we don't use chemicals like that), but it is better. Earlier this week she said hello to me first! After that first day, I would have never thought it - from her or from me (I was livid that someone would raise a hand to my dog, and especially for something so petty.) I gave us both a chance to be different, and I'm hoping it continues to improve. We'll never be best buds, but I'm shooting for civil at this point :wink:

    I was told by the people that used to live here to get ready to have the Sheriff called about my dogs, complaints made to the City, etc. - but so far we've been cool. I really think she just needed a neighbor who would respect her desire to keep her landscaped yard in good order and someone to talk to occasionally. She still complains about things in general alot, but I just put up my invisible negativity deflectors :lol: and let her carry on for a moment - it passes, and we move on to something a bit more positive. It's well worth it to me to keep some peace!

  3. #3

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    So sorry that you had to experience that kind of behavior from someone you thought you were on good terms with. I have a similar problem with my
    neighbor's grandson who came to live with grandma a few years ago when she sold some property and acquired some money. I could go on ,but....
    Anyway, try putting yourself in her position for a moment. She lives there all year round, it's quiet at night, she probably goes to bed early. She may resent the fact that you come up on weekends and disturb the quiet that she
    is used to. The barking dog probably woke her up. When my dogs bark and wake me up I deal with it, when my neighbor's dogs wake me up I get annoyed. This has probably been building up for some time with her. She should have brought it to your attention in civilized neighborly manner to avoid bad feelings. That being said, I would begin to document each incident just in case and maybe keep the dog in the house after dark so as not to exacerbate the situation.
    Good luck, hope this helps.

  4. #4
    Senior Member QuiltMania's Avatar
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    Just be kind and calm in your responses to her. That doesn't mean that you have to be verbally abused by her. If she does that just tell her the conversation is at an end until she can be civil. Maybe you could go out with the dog or call him in if he starts barking at night.

    It may be that she is, as your husband says, jealous of your life or unhappy with her own. Just continue to be kind to her and get going on that fence. Good luck.

  5. #5
    Super Member amandasgramma's Avatar
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    I live in the country, too...and I have sympathy for your neighbor!!! Sorry, but you should NOT let you dog bark every time you're there! Our neighbors let their dogs bark...apparently it doesn't bother them. We get irritated, too, and quite frankly, I've considered doing exactly what your neighbor did. When we have company they ask us how we can stand it. One day the neighbor asked me if the dogs bothered me and I said yes. Since then they've kept them under control. Your dogs could be barking at a rabbit, chipmunk or a bear or intruders. They need to be taught to bark ONLY when something is trying to enter your home (I know - hard to do). If a bear is on your property and intent on doing damage, your dog's barking will not stop the bear, but only make it angry and possibly cause it to hurt your dog.

    So have consideration for the neighbor, apologize to her for your dog and she may apologize for her actions, keep your dog under control and your time in the weekend place will go back to being enjoyable.

  6. #6
    HMK
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    Quote Originally Posted by amandasgramma
    I live in the country, too...and I have sympathy for your neighbor!!! Sorry, but you should NOT let you dog bark every time you're there! Our neighbors let their dogs bark...apparently it doesn't bother them. We get irritated, too, and quite frankly, I've considered doing exactly what your neighbor did. When we have company they ask us how we can stand it. One day the neighbor asked me if the dogs bothered me and I said yes. Since then they've kept them under control. Your dogs could be barking at a rabbit, chipmunk or a bear or intruders. They need to be taught to bark ONLY when something is trying to enter your home (I know - hard to do). If a bear is on your property and intent on doing damage, your dog's barking will not stop the bear, but only make it angry and possibly cause it to hurt your dog.

    So have consideration for the neighbor, apologize to her for your dog and she may apologize for her actions, keep your dog under control and your time in the weekend place will go back to being enjoyable.
    I'm in total agreement with you. We've had a neighbour dog bark for over 2 hours straight and this happened often. One of the other neighbours dealt with it and it's been quiet since - once the dog barks it's quieted now. Some pet owners just don't get it that they must be responsible owners - not everyone is in love with neighbours' pets mess they leave behind or the noise. A lot of folks believe it's always the one complaining that's the nasty, horrid neighbours - NOT.

  7. #7
    reneebobby's Avatar
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    Well, my dog barks like crazy and I always bring her in because I can't stand it, but now I just don't care when the new neighbors (6 weeks new) we busted for DEALING DRUGS out of there home. :evil: But anyhow Sorry she was so nasty, she should of had all the facts first and out in the country a bark goes a long way, and hopefully she'll see the error of her ways soon and apoligize to you.

  8. #8
    joykey's Avatar
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    The persons that live on the other side of the fence from us grow puppies like vegetables . (They run a puppy mill)
    My little girl a 7 lb. MinPin who never meets a stranger. Would walk to the fence and pee and poo. on our side! Every morning the jerk would scream at her cuss her etc. every day I would get all upset and ask the jerk what is she doing to you? And we can't see these neighbors thank goodness a there are trees and plenty of brush between us.
    It escalated!!!
    Finally this spring he put up a privacy fence GREAT! he has also stopped screaming over the fence at us we still hear those pitiful cries of all the dogs in cages.
    I don't know what gave him the idea that he was going to tell us what we could and couldn't do on our own property.

    Neighbors on the other side he needs anything we are right there to help and vice versa.

  9. #9
    Super Member Lisanne's Avatar
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    I sympathize that she upset you. It is upsetting to be screamed at, especially when you have no idea that there was ever a problem.

    But your husband is wrong. She wasn't screaming out of jealousy; she didn't come out late at night after she'd gotten ready for bed just because she was grouchy. She was screaming because she couldn't take it any more. I think you can understand that when someone can't sleep because of barking, and it's almost midnight, and they don't know when or if it'll end, they're going to be upset. After all, you were upset when her noise woke your kids - same thing.

    If this is the first you've heard of it, it's because most people dislike confrontation and will avoid it until it reaches the boiling point. It shouldn't be like that, of course. Since the neighbors have discussed this among themselves, you know it's an ongoing problem for them - every time the dog is there, in fact. Someone should have approached you during the day and calmly let you know the barking was a problem for them long ago.

    Okay, they didn't, but don't write this woman off because she was upset. Take steps to keep the dog from barking at all hours of the day or night. Train the dog or keep him inside. And go apologize to your neighbor. Say you hadn't realized and you will take care of it and you'd like to make amends. After all, it's a lot less stressful to work it out than to hate and fear your neighbors.

    Occasional barking is to be expected, but not prolonged barking or barking at all hours.

  10. #10
    Power Poster BellaBoo's Avatar
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    Offer to buy her a set of earplugs. You are finding a solution by building a fence for the dog, then it's barking will bother only you and not run all over. The dog shouldn't be allowed to run free to other's yard.


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