First, I would like to "bump" some past barking essays.
Throw your pro-barking neighbors and authorities for a LOOP:
- Pro-Barking Propaganda and how to counter it (I)
- Countering Pro-Barking Propaganda (II)
- Countering Pro-Barking Propaganda (III)
- Countering Pro-Barking Propaganda (IV)
- Countering Pro-Barking Propaganda (V)
With that said, an extremely serious barking predicament came to my attention the other week:
New "Animal Uncontroller" Neil B sent me the following link to his blog.
In any case, Neil has some rather severe medial issues that require him to REST IN HIS HOME. Indeed, we ALL have a right to rest in our homes, a RIGHT that has been STOLEN by the canine supremacy movement. However, those chains will rest heavily or lightly depending on the exact circumstances.
My Summary of Events:
Malicious dog owning neighbor refuses to control their dogs, and is probably committing multiple violations in the process. They exploit the goodwill and generosity of the victim to its fullest extent. They proceed to slander the victims throughout the community and expend serious political and social capital garnering support from the HOA and the rest of the community to further crush the victim. This is somebody they believe that they can screw over and get away with it, and of course they DO.
I also believe that Neil did not have adequate legal representation. This may be a case of legal malpractice. I am not a lawyer, but I have been through the litigation process a few times.
I am thinking the issues with the HOA and the other neighbors may not be dog cultism per se, but simple cronyism. That situation was a little like my state trail association "implosion" a couple of years ago: I tried to set some limits on dogs on the trail, but one particular malicious dog owner (who owned a golden retriever, by the way) was deeply entrenched in the organization's crony network and none of the other leaders would take any action against him. Some of those folks didn't own dogs and at least one HATED dogs. However, cronyism carried the day so it was time to say goodbye.
A few takeaways from this situation:
- You MUST take care of yourself. Do whatever you have to do to protect your health, your job, your relationships and your sanity. If you are in a situation like Neil's, and have to perform a "strategic retreat" to a hotel, or a friend's or relative's house DO IT. NOBODY is going to penalize you for taking a "vacation" from the neighborhood nuisance. Furthermore, this may bolster your case against the dog owner, HOA, government, etc.... as you have now "proven" your house is not habitable BECAUSE IT ISN'T
- Do not be kind or generous to the dog owner. They are OFFENDING against you and you should treat them like any other criminal. NOTE that you should stay within the limit of the law so not to give the neighbor any leverage against you. THESE PEOPLE ARE NOT YOUR FRIENDS!
- Do not wait to put the neighbor on notice. The longer this goes on the harder its going to be to get rid of.
- Always scope your neighborhood before buying/renting. A good way to do this is to conceal a voice/sound activated audio recorder at the site for at least 24 hours. There are plenty of good devices on the market. I own one of these. Of course, this is no guarantee that a neighbor from hell will not move in later (one probably will) BUT you have confidence that you won't have one from day one. Its a bit like getting a mechanical inspection on a used car.
- Pursuant to the above point, if you hear any barking while touring the property, quit the process immediately and tell the realtor/owner why. You think a realtor is going to miss out on a juicy commission because of some useless yard barker? Owners and landlords do not like the value of their capital depreciated either.
- Actively campaign against any and all laws that give the dog owner an unfair advantage. Neil ran head first into the draconian "multiple household rule", one of the most absurd rules ever put on the books.