The hills are alive with the sound of barking dogs. Warm weather is surely upon us. The windows are open, the smells are fresh, but the sounds can be awful if you live in a neighborhood where people harbor bored or unhappy pets.
Reading on the interwebs, you’ll learn there are three types of people who accommodate barking dogs: the uninformed, the lazy and reluctant, and the malicious and recalcitrant. Hmmm, could one of these be you?
Hi Sparky. There you are again.
If your dog’s outside and you’re not home, how can you know what’s happening? Guess that makes you uninformed. All that needs to be done, according to the experts, is for the bothered party to lap up her courage and go talk with the neighbors in question about the situation.
It’s OK, Sparky, they’ll be home soon.
The website www.barkingdogs.net has so much good information. If you’re bothered by a barking dog, you wonder if you’re being intolerant. This site makes the point that “a lesser standard is to accept an environment of constant noise.” Isn’t quiet one of the very things that makes the mountain area so special? You really feel it when you travel and come back home; you bask in the serenity until …
Sparky, shut up!
The Jeffco Sheriff’s Office says, “The dog should not be allowed to bark at any activity unless it takes place on the dog owner’s property.” That means those cute deer passing through, the people walking their dog down the street, or someone pulling up to your neighbor’s house are not invitations for a bark.
Because the issue is often subjective, barking complaints are difficult to enforce, so you’re depending on goodwill, and it turns out that’s often what works, according to Jeffco Animal Control manager Carla Zinanti. “A responsible dog owner will work with their dog so it’s not creating a disturbance,” says Zinanti.
Animal control and barkingdogs.net recommend keeping your dog inside or in the garage with appropriate considerations for hot or cold weather and comfort.
Zinanti acknowledges a mountain mentality that is fraught with glitches in common sense. Letting your dog run free, bark habitually and interact with wildlife is not appropriate to mountain living for many good reasons.
It’s up to the owner to find a solution, and hopefully Sparky’s family will soon. Or I’ll have to go over and woof at them.
Hannah B. Hayes is a former Both Sides Now debate columnist, small-business owner and peace activist. She has been a part of the Evergreen community for more than 35 years.