Life Advice

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Health & Spirit

Neglected dogs leave neighbors barking mad

By Amy Dickinson, Tribune Content Agency on

-- Perplexed Neighbors

Dear Neighbors: It would have been very easy for your neighbors to own up to this and apologize, and a sincere apology on their part might have inspired you to feel more tolerant. But -- they went another way.

And while I feel very sorry for you, I feel especially sorry for these dogs, because they are being kept in a neglectful household.

Even on quiet streets, stuff occasionally happens. Neighbors have to be tolerant of lapses and occasional disruptions. But if this dog situation is happening daily, or every weekend, or every time the neighbors are away, then you should do what you can to get their attention.

Look up the noise statute in your area. There will likely be a special mention of barking dogs (this is a very common noise complaint). You might be instructed to call the non-emergency number of the police department, animal control or the humane society. You have already warned them that you would do this; now you should be prepared to follow through.

Keep a dog diary. Make careful notes of the times and duration of the dog's barking (it might be less often, and of shorter duration than you think). If necessary, record audio or video, especially of the late-night barking.

Noise statutes are there to codify this problem and to give you a path toward relief.

Dear Amy: I would like to use your column to ask people to stop approaching women and men with babies and saying, "Is this your grandchild?"

It took me a very long time to get pregnant and to finally have the baby I love. Perhaps this should not upset me so much, but it does make me so sad and angry when people ask if I am my daughter's grandma.

It would be so easy if people would just not assume.

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