Ms. Demeanor's Vertical Etiquette

Dear Ms. Demeanor: My dog won't shut up

By  | April 7, 2010 - 6:58AM
Ms. Demeanor .jpg

Hey Ms. Demeanor!

The love of my life barks from time to time (well sometimes for a long time) when I leave her alone in my apartment. I have a doggysitter who keeps her company during the day, but she still spends some time alone and complains loudly.

Last week, I received an anonymous letter under my door complaining about the noise.

Of course my dog ate the letter and I was only able to read part of it.

What should I do?

a) Ignore it? After all, that person didn't even give me her apartment # and it was a typed letter --very rude if you ask me!

b) Acknowledge it (I think I know who complained) by slipping a "I am sorry" note under the door,


c) Break my lease and move????

Faux Paws

Dear Faux,

So your darling domesticated companion is balking at being abandoned for hours upon hours??

Every footfall outside the door might be the one that slips the key into the lock… but no… but maybe if I call out your name and wag my tail… and so it goes, day in, day out.

I adore all furry creatures, but your neighbors are entitled to watch their television programs without a canine commentary.

You have a dog sitter, and I assume you have weighed the pros and cons of doggy day care (socialization vs. ringworm) and still, the bark, bark, bark of impending eviction echoes in your ears.

I have heard “tails” of surgical debarking, but a few quarters in an empty coffee can work wonders:  While you knock on your front door or simply walk past in the hallway,  a friend stationed inside your apartment shakes the can whenever your pooch barks – and rewards your dog for holding its tongue.

A quick Internet search yields other purported interventions, including collars that spray citronella (if you don't mind your apartment smelling like a national park picnic) or send a small electrical shock when the dog barks, which strikes me as rather barbaric.

However, I just caught wind of a new product with promising reviews:  An ultrasonic signal dispatched at the first woof "interrupts" the urge to vocalize.

As a gesture of good neighborliness, buy two and give one, beautifully wrapped, to your long-suffering neighbor along with a note expressing your apologies and your hopes for days of blissful silence.

Previous advice from Ms. Demeanor:

How do we tell the building we're getting a divorce?

Barbarians in the laundry room

Are hallway time-outs acceptable?

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