Friday, April 03, 2009

and now a vent

Geez... got REAMED tonight by a neighbor. All in all, I'd rather they did complain to me first if they have a complaint before going to the management... BUT, she didn't have to raise her voice to me and repeat her complaint a dozen times.

Here's the issue. Kyra (the dog) gets over-excited (justifiably) when I let her out of her kennel after she's been in it for ten hours. I've been trying to figure out "solutions" and ways to train her so it's not insanity. Basically, when I get home from work she kicks up an enormous racket. Barking, yipping, whining, scratching at the floor of the kennel. A co-worker told me that a trick that might help is to NOT let her out the second I get home... but make her wait a minute or two. So, we've been trying that. It's not working great... but it is helping a little. Basically she's still freaking out the minute I walk in the door, but when I walk past her stating "a minute" and I go to the bathroom, in a minute or so after I leave the room, she calms down a little. Which is good, right? Still a couple of minutes of loud noise & annoyance... but my hope is that with time (and maybe a little age) it will get better.

THEN, when I do let her out of the kennel - she's still over excited (unfortunately). She literally trembles with excitement and wants to jump all over us. I hang onto her collar, encourage her to sit, to calm down... and when she does, I pet her and give her all the attention she wants. When she's trying to climb all over me, jump over the couch, I hang onto her collar to keep her from doing so, and say "No, SIT" in a firm voice. It takes about five minutes of repeating these actions before I can walk to the door to take her out (she's insane, I tell you). Unfortunately, she doesn't think she wants to go outside & go to the bathroom just yet. I know she needs to go, but the majority of the time, she still wants attention. If I put her out too quickly, she sits at the patio door and yips this really loud, really "sharp" yip. ANNOYING to me (and apparently the neighbors). I've tried everything from going outside with her, to scolding her, to leaving her barking... but if I put her out before she thinks she wants to be out - she'll do this. She won't go to the bathroom. If I let her back in, she'll want to go back outside again in two minutes. It's really obnoxious.

This is really the only time she barks. And I do know it's annoying, but I'm kind of at my wits end on how to handle this. I want her to learn that the first chance she gets outside is when she should go and that she'll get all the attention she wants when she's done her business.

So, tonight, I was in the bathroom cleaning the cat litter, and was giving her five minutes to bark (watching the clock). She barked the whole time. Before her time was up, a neighbor came to complain. Now, when it comes right down to it - she had EVERY right to complain. I probably would have as well.

But, it wasn't a complaint -- it was a confrontation. I apologized profusely AND then she started yelling at me about how I wasn't supposed to put the dog on a chain and she was tired of listening to the dog bark all morning long, all night long (which isn't true). And then she even yelled "and you probably don't even clean up after it". ? I'm sorry, but I do pick up after it, if I didn't then she would have yelled "and I'm sick of seeing poop all over the place" -- right? But, no, I do pick up after my dog. I don't follow her around (which I could probably do, if I wasn't already living a life) - but every morning I go out and pick up everything I can find. I do find that some mornings I can't find anything (not sure why)... but the following morning I'll find three or four somethings... I know she's going a couple of times a day (I remember from the regularity of cleaning up after her when she was going in the house).... but for some reason I just don't always see it. It evens out though... and I figure if I'm looking for it and having trouble finding it, it's less likely someone else is going to stumble onto it and complain in between times.

I didn't lose my temper but that was mostly because I was waiting for her to take a breath so I could ask if the dog was also barking during the day while I was away at work (I worry about that). She said no. So, I said thank you for coming to me first, and I would do everything in my power to cut down on the barking - and shut the door in her face.

I think I was quite civil. But WOW? I've had lousy neighbors before and had to complain... but I've never raised my voice? What's the point of that? I figure she needed to unload on someone and I got lucky... like I needed it.

Anyway, had to vent... nothing like getting reamed within five minutes of walking in the door.

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