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Brenda has been writing since grade school. She attended journalism school where she majored in professional writing. She loves to decorate, garden, read and spend time with her Yorkies.

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Good Books & (Non) Barking Dogs

Have you ever found yourself carting certain books around, every time you relocate? You take these books out, look them over, consider donating them, pause, then put them back where they were on the shelf.

I have a certain paperback I've been hauling around for probably seven years. Once I even put it on my nightstand, fully prepared to finally read it. And I didn't. It went back on the shelves. 

Last night, tired of reruns and longing to escape into a book, I took it down from the shelves again. The pupsters and I covered ourselves with blankets, and while they snoozed, I read. 

I became so immersed in this book, the one I had almost given away many times, that an hour later, I was still reading. And the hour after that. After nine p.m., I made myself look at the clock every ten minutes. Because the dogs get their final "go out" for the night at 10 p.m.

I was so caught up in this book that time slipped away. Before I knew it I looked up and it was after 10:30. Oh no! I thought. I got up and rushed the dogs outside and willed them not to utter one bark. 

You see, there is a man who lives behind me. And he blames my dogs for every bark he hears.  

He went so far, several weeks ago, as to call security and proclaim that my dogs had been barking for hours, and it started at 11:30 p.m.

Security, they told management, came to my door and knocked. It was dark inside, they said, and I did not answer my door. 

"Well," I told management. "I am very compulsive by nature. I haven't been out after 5 p.m. in probably ten years. I have showered and put on my pajamas by 6:30. The dogs and I are well asleep by 10:30 most every night. So it could not possibly have been my dogs he heard barking.

"Secondly, if I am home, which I am 95% of the time if not more, I would not have allowed my dogs to bark past the first bark. And I certainly would not have allowed them to bark five minutes, must less for hours. 

"Thirdly, security had to have knocked on the wrong door. Because once my dogs hear a knock at the door, they go into a barking frenzy. So they had the wrong apartment."

Then I am twisted into knots of pent up anger because clearly this man has targeted my pupsters for something that could not possibly have happened. And I can't do anything about it. His word against mine.

He has turned them in before. My neighbor Charlie says that once when he was walking Sammy, they passed fairly close to this man on the sidewalk, and the man jumped back as though he feared Sammy. By the way, Sammy is a poodle.

Charlie wanted to go over there and give this man the what-for once I told him this, but I stopped him. It would only make things worse. This man, who apparently lives alone but works during the day, obviously does not like dogs.  

It's not as though his wall is close to mine. We have two patios and a private fence in the middle separating us. 

As Volare, the Russian maintenance man, said with his customary shrug: "Eh. Dogs. They bark." As if this is a no-brainer.

Even hours after my surgery in November, I stood at the open patio door, one foot on the floor, my right knee on the scooter. And I stood there, woozy from anesthetic, while the dogs were outside, which were mere minutes. 

In nice weather we are out there much more while I garden. But still, I do not allow them to bark. For one thing, I myself don't want to hear it. And I certainly do not want them to bother others.

I have never put my dogs out and not manned the patio door, ready to call a halt mid-bark. I have never gone out somewhere and left my dogs on the patio.

Charlie is worse than Abi when it comes to barking. Inside Abi rules the roost. Outside he is the alpha dog. He emits one bark upon going outside, as though to tell the world: I am alpha dog. Hear me roar.

He then hikes his leg at every corner and sniffs and sniffs all around. And keeps his eye out for the squirrel or cat that might possibly run across the top of the fence, which would make his day. Then he sniffs around some more.

The difference between he and Abi, however, is that he minds me. While Abi is indifferent to anything anyone says to her, Charlie will stop mid-bark when I say: "Charlie, no barking."

So ten or more times a day, when the dogs go out, I am on edge. Especially on weekends when this nameless resident is likely at home. I am told he has been here a long time and is no problem. Rarely makes calls to complain. 

Which, in management-speak, means he pays his rent on time every month and thus he is highly ranked as a resident and they do not wish to lose him. 

Well, I pay my rent each month before it is due. Like clockwork. I don't play loud music. I am quiet. I don't have parties. I take care of my space. 

For this reason, I sometimes miss living in a house. I miss having my own little spot where people leave me be. But I don't know that I can ever attain that. Six hundred square feet or less would do the trick for me. 

So for now I will man the patio door, no matter how cold or how much snow is flying in the wind, and watch the dogs while they get a little exercise. Always at the ready to bring them right back in should they open their mouths to bark. 

A person should not allow their dogs to bark and bother others. I would not want to hear it either. But it does not happen here.

It is his word against mine, however. 

Cozy Little House
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  1. This is a doggie neighborhood. They all bark here, lol. Next door, up the street, down the street, and so on. As soon as one of them is outdoors and barks at something they all want to go see what it is and join in!

    It's a chorus! :)

    Love your cute pup pics today :)

    1. If mine hear Sammy next door, they set up a chorus too. But Charlie and I are dog people (his wife has never spoken to me for some reason) and we understand.

  2. Luckily we have dog and cat lovers all around and if my Coco gives off her first bark to say hello to the world in the morning, another will bark to say good morning too! Some people will complain at anything unfortunately so even if your darling pooches were silent, he would complain about something else. Obviously a lonely man with nothing better to do. (sorry blood boiling now!). Take care and give your pooches a cuddle from me and my Coco. xx

  3. The apartment managements are very happy to take pet deposits when they lease to a new tenant. But, then once you live there, they don't want your animal to act like an animal. I had some neighbor once when I lived in an apartment that thought every dog poop was from my dog. Having lived in apartments for years, I always picked after my dog. One night I hear a noise at my front door. I looked out and found several dog poops thrown on my doorstep. None of it would have been from my dog, since I ALWAYS brought "it" home. These people get it in their heads it is a certain neighbor and won't even consider it isn't. Next time you get some call about your dogs from management, remind them you paid deposit for both your dogs and while you do the best to not have them bark, it is going to happened briefly at times. Like the other comment said, he's going to find something else to complain about. I'll bet he is one that turns his TV up too loudly.

    1. Yes, they were quite happy to take $600 for a dog deposit and then tack on $300 more for me.

    2. As far as the poop issues, we had a new neighbor over the hill from us. This was when we had a cocker spaniel. Ours then and still are tied when they go out to potty. There was a blonde cocker that we would see from time to time wandering around. Not our dog. Once we had poop in a bag tied to our mail box. That really made me mad. I knew they thought it was ours because of the breed. This neighbor made the whole neighborhood mad. The former owners daughter came to their door and wanted to show her friend where she used to live. This new person called her family as much as filthy animals and no she would not let them in. This girls mother cared for a handicapped son and had terrible arthritic hands. I don't think anyone had anything to do with this lady from then on. Our neighbors stay here for years. We have been here for 30 years.
      The condo that we wanted to buy would have been a problem with the dogs barking and even going out to potty. Maybe that's why it didn't work out. My dogs bark. Kills my ears. The Yorkie is bossy but her bark isn't bad. Our Springer has a loud deep bark and it is annoying. Tey love to bark at the squirrel that teases them and the deer or occassional wild turkeys that strut through the yard. I can't believe this person complained about your dogs. Big old grump.

  4. Good luck! I just left my rental with 6 dogs about 12 feet from my walls....they sometimes barked really sucks!!!!! I will pray for you.....

    1. I don't want to hear dogs barking either. So I shut them down pretty quick. "Hush that up!" I'll yell.

  5. As the kids say, "Haters gonna hate." I'm sorry that you and the pupsters were targeted by this man's grumpiness. Unless it goes on for hours, I always kind of appreciate when any of the neighbors' dogs bark at night--I feel like they're guarding us all.

    Darling pictures of the pupsters!

    1. They say your best protection is a dog barking.

  6. Anyone who owns a dog has probably been wrongly accused of letting their dogs bark. I have, and I own a home in a neighborhood with many dogs. Continue to monitor your dogs, and don't sweat it. And if someone in your complex is letting their dog bark endlessly, this needs to be investigated and stopped, just like it was in my neighborhood. Nobody should be subjected to endless hours of that.

  7. I feel your pain. That is frustrating to be accused of something you didn't do (or in this case, your dogs). You sound like a very conscientious dog owner. We've had similar run ins with our neighbors in the past but I've learned to not let it bother me. Most of them are either not dog lovers, or misunderstand dogs altogether. Just let it go!

    1. I just have to stay on top of them when they're out there.

  8. H0w could anyone find fault with those darling pupsters!

  9. Some people just are not dog lovers. I had an electrician here last wk, and he said his neighbor came over one day and complained about his two dogs barking He asked when he'd like to have them bark, the neighbor said NEVER. He has turned him into the city twice for his dogs barking! I live in like a canyon area, and dogs set each other off all the time! So what! Glad Charlie is on your side, even though he has a vicious poodle! Such cute pics of the puppies!

    1. Charlie was so glad to have me move in, because the lady before me did not like Sammy.

  10. Brenda, This is for the maintance man...yes, dogs bark...but do we want to hear it all the time , no. I do not like barking dogs. you know the difference as will as I. Yes, dogs bark with someone at the door, understandable, or some one messing around your yard, or certain things like that. You can get your closest neighbors to tell security it isn't your dogs, because if it were they surely would hear them. So you have witnesses. The neighbor may just think it's yours, cause he doesn't know of the other dogs. It is a rough row.I love well behaved dogs the best. LOl. Take care, Are you doing okay with your therapy? Blessings, xoxo,Susie

    1. You're right. Charlie said he would be happy to let them know it wasn't my dogs. Because he would have heard them.

  11. a lot of people in apartments have a hard time with noise that they can not control. Too bad that is happening to you it really sounds like you have your dogs under control. I wish for your sake that you could find a tiny place of your own ( a house I mean) but I know it is very hard isn't it to find something in a budget range and to be independent.

    1. I would be ecstatic if I had a tiny little house. But I don't see how it would happen.

  12. We live in a condo and have some of the same issues, we don't have a dog but many do and everyone gets accused of having barking dogs, even if they don't! It is sad that the resident has targeted you and your pets. It makes life so uncomfortable to be scared of your neighbors.
    Side note, I changed beauticians today and I was scared to death to see the old guy and have to tell him I was changing people! The old one ignored me and I ignored him! I love the new guy and the color and the cut. I put up with things I didn't like out of fear. Don't fear the blankety blank neighbor. Take care. Gayle

  13. It's hard when one neighbor has to be a pain. I know you aren't the sort of person to ignore your dogs and let them bark incessantly. All dogs bark once in awhile...they are dogs after all...and your complex DOES allow dogs. A crabby neighbor like yours annoys me a lot more than any barking dog...

  14. That sucks! Some people are just not happy unless they're making others miserable. If it were not for my neighbors dogs I would never have known when my house was almost broken into. I was inside alone. You get a sense when the dog is just being a dog or when somethings wrong!
    Better days are ahead.
    Hugs Rosemary

  15. These are some cute photos of the pupsters! I hope the grumpy neighbor won't be too much of a pain.

  16. I've never minded hearing dogs barking if you know they are fine and just enjoying themselves. They are dogs, afterall. I'm sorry you have a pain in the neck neighbour. Sometimes someone just decides to pick on something and they can't let it go. Obviously, he has nothing else to occupy his time. I guess the best thing to do is just what you are doing. Hope he just fades away in time and finds something else to obsess on. Deb

  17. You need to tell the management that this gentleman has targeted you for harassment and you will have to contact the police if they allow this harassment to continue. Tell them they must prove it is your dogs
    As far as a small house, the neighborhoods in which you would find them would most likely not be to your liking. Small homes in desirable areas become tear downs . Pity.

  18. PS. You might find an older detached property in Sun City in Florida, an age qualified community, but I know you want to stay in Tulsa.

  19. You say it's his word against yours, but his word is a lie and yours isn't.
    Don't change anything to appease a liar.
    I am also reading a book given to me years ago, didn't fancy it until found myself without a good read. Its Carol Goodman's Lake of Dead Languages.....really good & been on my shelf 5 years at least!

  20. I'm sorry that this situation is going on with a "grumpy man". I always feel safe when I hear dogs barking. It lets me know that something is around to upset them.
    Stand your ground, Brenda.. You have a witness in Charlie, your neighbor.

  21. I live in the country in a place where houses are not very close at all. The new people across the road moved in with two dogs that were tied up outside day and night (not the norm here but they said they were hunting dogs, which gives you an excuse not to treat them well?)... At any rate, an unknown irate neighbor called a dog less friend of mine at 3 am to complain about her dogs incessant barking..we heard it all the time, too. Poor dogs... I still don't really talk to those people. If you don't treat dogs well, you probably don't treat people well, either...

  22. PS What book were you reading?

  23. I'm with Volare on this one.Dogs bark.


  24. Brenda, maybe you can figure out whose dogs are bothering him. It is likely in the other direction. Sound carries, and it is so strange that he is convinced it is your babies. Is he hearing things??? Because it seems to me that you would be hearing these barking dogs as well.

    We believe you. I think you would have an entire internet community to write for you should anything come of it. I would gladly go to bat for you.



  25. Sorry you're having to deal with this, especially when it ISN'T your dogs! I have two dogs too and I try not to let them bark past like 8pm if they are outside. Almost everyone in my neighborhood has dogs and they ALL bark during they day on and off but seems like most people control them at night which is nice. Good luck with that grumpy neighbor. I don't know where you live but maybe you could find a tiny house to buy? We have tons of them where I'm at... tiny, like 400 sq. ft.


  26. This neighbor is a problem. He is blaming your dog's when it's obvious it's another's that are barking. Maybe you can figure out where the barking dogs are someday so you can tell management next time he complains. I have been in my own for 35 years living in similar places. I notice a pattern and I do not ever have dogs only cats. Some nasty male neighbors take offense to women living alone and will harass them endlessly. They make false accusations until they force you out. It has happened to me when I worked 12 hours a day 6 days a week and my cats were indoor only. One neighbor claimed they were destroying his flowers. My cats were never outside. Guess who they believed? Him. I had to move to find peace. Management blamed me. This is unfair especially since your dog's are so good and of course your careful. I like when my neighbors dogs bark because they are alerting us .Good Luck. You sure do not need this headache. Stand your ground but it may be something that goes on until you move. He is definitely targeting you.

  27. This is really too bad. And you can be vigilant to the end with your dogs and he may still make up lies. My neighbors next door (a chain link fence divides us) have complained about our dogs (all of them were barkers and now Layla and Milo are as well). She actually called the police on Milo, who came and just gave me a warning. And she has threatened to do it again despite the fact that we call them in immediately when they bark and they are never out more than 5 minutes at a time unless I'm out there with them. I just think she a born complainer. From the comments it sounds like you're not alone.

    I didn't notice the name of the book you are reading. Did I miss that?

    Jane x

  28. And cats should not be allowed to roam the neighborhood! Barking dogs do not bother me. Roaming cats trying to kill birds at my bird feeder do.

  29. Ok so are you going to tell us the name of the book or did I miss that somehow?

  30. I feel for you... I have 3 dogs ~ they are NOT allowed to bark outside! I live in the middle of 3 dogs from hell ~ 2 on one side, 1 on the other. They all bark at the slightest things, for long periods of time.

  31. I'm so sorry to hear about your overly grumpy neighbor. I'm not sure how or why he thinks he knows where the barking is coming from, it's almost impossible to tell sometimes. I woke up the other night to the sound of a small dog barking and was terrified that it was our Buddy until I found him sleeping soundly in his bed. Give the little pupsters a big hug!

  32. I would confront your neighbor, find out what is beef is with dogs. I love these photos of the pups. Dogs are allowed to bark. When you confront your neighbor, bring him one of those delicious looking casseroles! Ha Ha.

  33. Me too!!! I've read another book you recommended, and was very pleased with it... Have SCOURED the text and cannot find the title of this one. Is it a secret????

  34. I have a dog and we always our outside with her, especially since she just went blind this past year. She barks when other dogs bark. The neighbor next door had 3 dogs (one is now dead). His chow attacked my dog in my yard on a number of occasions. These dogs run free. We've had people stop by and ask if it is our dog as it almost got hit. We have said, no that's it's the neighbor next door. He doesn't care for those dogs and half the time they aren't feed. He's been turned in (we don't have a dog catcher, it's the local police as this is a small rural county). Unless they can catch him neglecting the dog or them running free, they can't do anything. But they did tell me that if the dogs attack me, my dog or anyone on my property, I can shot those dogs.


I always enjoy reading your comments and having you join the conversation here at Cozy Little House. It is like having a gathering of friends sitting in my cozy apartment. Enjoying coffee and dessert, chatting and having a good time. I appreciate each and every one of you!

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