Sunday, April 29, 2012

Neighbor Probs

Let me get your opinion...
I live in an apartment, meaning that everyone here is in pretty close quarters. The neighbors to my north have either recently acquired a dog, or they have recently begun crate-training it during the day. This poor dog spends at least 8 hours a day either whining/howling, or rapidly digging at the floor/crate. Both activities are quite loud; being that I'm a grad student, I'm home for most of the day and out in the early evening. I feel very badly for the dog, because I remember how miserable my family's puppy was when we crate-trained him (though we never left him alone all day, locked in...). I also feel for his owners, who are probably only vaguely aware of his behavior. I'm sure that all that digging and scratching has to have left some sort of indication, but the dog doesn't howl or dig when his owners are home.

About a week ago, I couldn't stand it anymore. I had tried to be patient -- for about 3 weeks. The dog was waking me up while it was still dark outside, I was having trouble concentrating and getting work done during the day, and I was being kept awake at night by the dog's owners finally deciding to exercise him (by apparently running stomping laps around their apartment). I didn't feel comfortable addressing my neighbors directly, partly because I don't actually know who they are. I spoke to the office staff and they were very receptive. They pitied the dog just as much as the next guy, but they were of the mindset that the owners need to know what he does when they're not around and how it affects their neighbors. They assured me that my "report" would be anonymous; I reminded them that I'll likely be living here for another two years, and I don't want to cause trouble.

I sincerely hope that my imagination was mocking me, but I swear that from the day I spoke to the staff, the noise level has grown more intense and more frequent. I imagined that upstairs, they knew it was me who had told on them, and that they were being as obnoxious as possible so I'd just pack up and move out. Realistically, I reminded myself that I'm probably just as anonymous to them as they are to me, and that the office staff may not even have spoken to them. I'm really, truly not the report-the-neighbors-for-every-little-thing type of person; I just miss my beauty sleep and the calm that used to accompany daytime here in my building.

I determined that I could wait it out until I'm back for my first summer course session at the end of May to see if it's gotten any better. My class will run 8:30 a.m. until 5:30 p.m., so the point may be moot. Plus, I'll have had three weeks' respite from the poor thing.

So now I ask you:
What would you have done if you were in my shoes? If you are a dog owner, how would you feel if someone filed a "complaint" about your pet? Would you be resentful or relieved to know? Would you have preferred that the complainant confront you personally?

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