The rich people in the big house next to my building have dogs. Previously, they had a huge black dog that they left outside 24/7, letting it scream all night. Not bark, folks. Scream. I finally went to them and complained. I first talked to the wife, who treated me like I was brain-damaged, and I told her I would be going to the county about the animal abuse. (They'd do things like leave the dog out in sub-freezing temperatures on holiday nights when they'd come home well after midnight - fortunately for them, Animal Control had a lot of abuse cases to deal with those nights and they got home before Animal Control could make it there.) Eventually, I spoke to the husband, who tried to tell me that the dog wasn't his problem, it was his wife's problem. I told him, if his name was on the mortgage for that address, it WAS his problem.
The next day, the black dog was gone.
Almost a year ago, they procured two new dogs. Little Bichon Frises. They leave these dogs out all the time, regardless of the weather. And, if you know the size of these critters, they ain't outdoor dogs. These little dogs scream and scream all the time. It's the YIPE YIPE YIPE bark. Some of my neighbors complained to animal control a couple of months ago because their apartment faced directly out into that family's yard. It was to no avail. Finally, tonight, I couldn't hack it anymore. After four hours of listening to the dogs scream non-stop, I went up to verify the house address, so I could call the county in the morning. As I stopped to read the house address, the wife came out and saw me. Here is the conversation:
ME: Excuse me, but are you going to bring your dogs in at some point? It's well after 10 p.m., and they've been screaming for hours.
WIFE: Are you talking to me? (She bolts from the front door down the driveway to where I am, standing in the street.)
ME: Yes. You leave these dogs out all the time, and it's impossible for people to hear themselves think after a while. Why don't you let them out for a while and then bring them back in?
WIFE: They are in outdoor crates, and my dogs can come and go as they please out of the crates.
ME: Ooookaaaay... But don't you hear them? They bark and scream incessantly. Don't you have any idea how annoying and inconsiderate it is for your neighbors?
WIFE: Yeah, it's annoying to me, too. What can I do about it? I've told my girls, but...
ME: Well, if it's annoying to you, why aren't you doing something about it, like bring them inside?
ME: You know, this isn't the first time I've had to come to you about the animal noise. And other neighbors have complained to the county. I had to come talk to you when you had the other dog.
WIFE: You talked to me? I don't think so. I don't remember anything about this.
ME: You have to be kidding. I brought you a tape of your dog screaming at 1 in the morning, and I told you if you didn't do something about the noise and the abuse of the dog, I was taking you to animal court. You left that big black standard poodle out all hours in all types of weather. You ruined Christmas Eve and New Year's Eve one year when you left that poor thing out all night in sub-freezing temperatures and you didn't come home until well after midnight.
WIFE: I don't recall any of this. And anyway, it was a Portuguese Water Dog, not a poodle. Don't you know the difference?
ME: Oh, who cares about what kind of dog it was?!? I don't care what breed the dog was - it was being abused.
WIFE: That dog is now living with the owner of the biggest circus on the planet, and I'll have you know that dog is one of the best paid and wealthiest dogs in the world!
ME: Well, la-ti-da. Why on earth would I care if your former dog is rich? I just want to be able to sleep or enjoy some peace and quiet and NOT listen to your dogs scream all the time.
WIFE: They are just tiny puppies, and they think they are protecting us.
ME: They were tiny puppies a year ago, ma'am. I remember when you had to put up posters all over because they ran away. And they may think they're protecting you, but it's interfering with your neighbors' quiet enjoyment of life. Folks who just moved out told me, "Thank god, we won't have to hear those dogs anymore." Please do something about the noise. You need to bring them inside or train them to be quiet.
WIFE: Do what I do. Go to CVS and buy yourself earplugs.
ME: Excuse me, but I should not have to live with earplugs because you can't keep your dogs quiet. I will contact the county tomorrow. You may be willing to put up with this, but your neighbors don't have to put up with it.
WIFE: Where do you live?!? WHERE DO YOU LIVE?!? Down there? (Gestures to my apartment neighborhood.) You live down there? Then, you're not my neighbor. You're from that low-class neighborhood. What's your name?!? What's your name?!? (I gladly give her my name, noting that the county already has a record of me complaining about the last dog they ignored.) You knock yourself out. We're rich, you know. The county will support us. You knock yourself out! Go right ahead, knock yourself out!
ME: You may be rich, but y'all are the most friggin' inconsiderate rich people I've ever met.
Note - at this point, she turned away in a huff and brought the damn dogs in.
These are the same people who, when a neighbor (a physician) went and told them that they might consider putting curtains on their teenage daughters' bedroom windows, as there was a creepy guy watching them change, the wife asked the physician if she was looking for a babysitting job.
And the husband is a bigwig at NIH. (My cranky fantasy is that he's friends with Bob "Probably made AIDS worse" Gallo...)
These guys are kinda creepy. Oh - their fence fell over about three weeks ago, into the parking lot of my building. Despite being rich, they still haven't fixed the fence. They took a baseball bat and tied it to the fence to prop it up. I'm waiting for it to fall over on one of the school children walking home from class...
Quote of the night: "I'll have you know that dog is one of the best paid and wealthiest dogs in the world!"
At least it's quiet now. I feel sorry for whomever moves into that now vacant apartment that faces their yard. God help them.