As a kid, I had a beagle named Jigger, who I loved as only a kid can love a dog. Sure, adults own dogs and love them, but it's a different kind of love. Some owners take on roles as "Mommy" or "Daddy" to their dogs. Kids never do that. Jigger was my buddy, who I loved more than anything in the world. He was with me ALL the time, everywhere, and nothing could keep us apart. Adults see their dogs, sometimes and, IMHO, too often, as their "children". And, as quite a few adults are wont to do, they spoil their "children" same as they spoiled their kids. This is not an indictment of adult dog owners who treat their dogs in this manner. It is, however, an indictment of those adult dog owners who let their dogs bark relentlessly, pathologically, daily, nightly, all the fekkin' time. Was my dog perfect? Hardly. But neighbors didn't complain to us about Jigger barking relentlessly, day and night.
Growing up with a dog to care for, one of the responsibilities I had (as well as my parents) was to make sure Jigger didn't bark and annoy the neighbors. Sure, he'd bark intermittently during the day, but not relentlessly nor at people. Well, one time he barked at this old guy walking down the street, which baffled me because he never did that. When he got into sitting on top of his dog house (yes, during the year when it was reasonable weather, Jigger slept outside in a dog house...oh, the horror!) and barking at the leaves blowing in the trees, my Dad put a door on the dog house. Now, when he was let out at bedtime, he'd find someplace to poop or pee and then either my Dad or me would put Jigger in the dog house and close the door. He stayed their until morning when one of us would let him out. Problem solved...no more nighttime barking. As I remember, there were never issues in the neighborhood of dogs barking during the evening or nighttime.
Somewhere along the time continuum, however, adult dog owners have become inconsiderate, rude, uncaring buttholes. I do have other adjectives, but will keep them to myself. Ok, not all adult dog owners meet this description, but there are way TOO many that do. I have to attribute this attitude adult dog owners have to them being spoiled as kids and they really don't care if their dogs are an annoyance to their neighbors. As in many things these days, adults are real jerks. They think it's ok to treat others inconsiderately. Way too many examples to type them all out here. I have one neighbor whose dog frequently barks during the night. It wasn't until I went over to speak to her that she acknowledged, yes, the dog's barking is annoying to others but I can't get the dog to stop. Well, don't let the damn thing out during the night. Ever think of that? Gee, good idea there. She got a shock collar for it and it's better, but it still happens episodically. Another neighbor tried to excuse her dog's barking because, "...this neighborhood has so many other barking dogs. I don't mean to make excuses for my dog..." What? This is what she's telling me as she's trying to get the dog to stop barking and, of course, the dog continues to bark because it has an owner who's subservient to the fekkin' dog....and the dog knows this, too!!! I did speak my mind to this adult dog owner and told her that, yes, she was making excuses for her dog and that she needed to think about her neighbors before letting her dog out at 5:30A.M. and let it bark while she stands there saying, "Stop. Shhh." For the most part, I've not heard this dog barking since.
Another neighbor, who is rarely at home, has two dogs. One very quiet; one very much a barker. One time, the barker was barking so loud and long that I went across the street to see what was up. The dog was INSIDE the house! I emailed the owner and eventually the situation improved. My question is: Why does someone other than the adult dog owner have to be the one to tell the owner that it's their responsibility to be considerate of their neighbors and that, by virtue of ownership, THEY are being inconsiderate pains in the ass? Drives me fekkin' crazy!
I have taken to going to the adult dog owner's home and tackling this issue head on. My goal is to be polite, reasonable, direct, and to get them to shut their dog up...or, at the very least, to not let it outside after a certain time at night or before a certain time in the morning. Having to fill in the gaps of responsibility that their parents should have taught them is not something that should not fall to someone else.
My other issue with adult dog owners is: they go out and get a dog, then leave it alone all day or for days at a time. They buy a dog like it's a new toy, for Christ's sake, like a kid would do. Dogs are social animals. They need companionship, attention....and here I go again...TRAINING. Sometimes, the one who needs the training is the HUMAN. To be fair, due to inbreeding, some dogs are just neurotic, beyond help, and, hold your breath here, I am not opposed to stopping the genetic spread of these animals. Yes, I'd take it to a vet to have it neutered/spayed or see if there was a haven for these types of dogs. I'd also try one of the collars that shock the dog when they bark. If nothing worked, I would have it put down (that's a euphemism for killing the dog. It makes it more palatable for humans to use that term.). But, no, humans have "evolved" to a level where, if they could, they'd put a place at the table for the dog. WTF?
Well, end of railing about adult dog owners. Honestly, it's not the dog. Unfortunately, it's all about the owner.
Ok, I'm done...time to go for a ride. Here's a tune to go with...Aerosmith doing "Walk The Dog". Not been one of my favorite groups, but the song fits...