Solutions to Common Annoyances
In our game Cul-de-sac Conquest, we encourage people to share stories about their terrible neighbors and stories when they were the terrible neighbors. Considering this past season, when it seemed like all anybody could talk about was terrible people, I have decided to tackle some of the most offensive annoyances in our game and try to deal with them in a calm civilized manner. First up is the incessant barking dog.
It seems like every neighborhood has one of those yappy dogs that never seems to shut up, and it is so aggravating.
The irony is, so many of us find it easy to tune out our spouse, our kids, that strange noise coming from our car, but a tiny little mutt is unbearable. Hour after hour of non-stop aggravation. After a while, it seems like the other dogs in the neighborhood get tired of hearing it too. Unfortunately, when the other dogs get frustrated, their only response is to bark as loud as they can as if to tell that little yappy dog to shut up. Before you know it, you have a full orchestra of barking with a 4-lb. metronome keeping it all on tempo. You would think that the bigger dogs would know how to handle these situations, but sadly they don’t.
My wife and I had some neighbors with a yappy little dog but of course he was as quiet and adorable as could be when his guardians were around. Apparently, when they were gone, he felt it was his duty to let the world know he was home alone every second of every minute of every hour they were gone. Even though they lived across the street it sounded like he was right outside my window, and it was like that in every room of our house. I felt like I needed to find a bar to hang out at for those times my neighbors were away.
After discussing the issue numerous times, my wife and I took the first logical step. We went to our other neighbors and commenced talking behind their back. Turns out we weren’t the only ones losing our minds over this yappy dog. We came up with some preliminary solutions. Find somebody willing to have a calm conversation with the guardians.
We came up with the most passive way to approach it. One of us was to wait around until we saw two people randomly standing in the street talking. Then we would knock on the guardian’s door and say, “I overheard those people over there talking about yappy dog and they seemed really bothered by it, I thought you should know.” Of course, no one was interested in being the one who did the talking. We obviously were aware when the guardians were not home, so we thought to leave an anonymous note taped to the door. Then we thought, why not get a computer and a printer involved and make it look super official like they were on the verge of getting fined or something? The later solution seemed like the perfect thing to do while spending a leisurely afternoon on the couch listening to that crazy dog bark. Unfortunately, these solutions had the same flaw.
What exactly were the guardians going to do about the dog if they were not home? It’s not like they could call the dog from their cell phone to check on them. Are they supposed to sit down and have a conversation with the dog before they left for the day? Some of the neighbors felt like changing the dog’s behavior wasn’t our problem, instead it was up to the guardians to figure something out. I, on the other hand, knew that we needed a better solution.
One day, the solution just came to us. I noticed my wife standing at the kitchen window cringing at the sight from outside. I ask her, “What’s the matter?”
“They are leaving,” she said, “it will start soon.” In response, I mentioned that it was too bad we didn’t have a dog whistle to try, but why would we have a dog whistle? Then my son proudly offered the end all be all solution for his generation, “There’s an app for that!” I did not believe him at first, but there are several, and most give you a few frequencies to choose from. The dog started barking before we had a chance to download the app.
We were highly skeptical of our new weapon especially since 7khz didn’t work. Fortunately, 10kHz was the magical tone! It shut the dog right up! After about 15 minutes, the barking started again, but stopped the second we hit the 10kHz button. It was weird how well this worked. We only needed to use it one more time and honestly, we haven’t been bothered since. As a matter of fact, not hearing that dog, knowing the guardians have left, is what inspired me to write this blog.