Alarm Bells

I am definitely a dog person, but I recently found myself in a predicament that was so

Australian Dog Head

Australian Dog Head (Photo credit:

difficult to square. Up until two weeks ago I wanted to poison my neighbours dogs. WHY? Because they won’t stop barking at all hours of the day and night, causing a constant irritation to all those fall within their ‘field of screams’. Much like my encounter with the big black dog of death, a story for another time, the owners seem to do nothing to halt their activities. But maybe my attention shouldn’t be the dogs, it should be with the owners. After all, if you let a child get behind the wheel of a car and it kills someone, you don’t blame the child. You blame the moron who buckled the child in and said ‘Right one is to go, middle one is to stop. Now go get ’em Johnny’

I know poisoning and murder, of any creature, is wrong and I of course wont be hatching a Walter White-esque plan to harvest ricin from caster beans, drop them in a doggy treat, throw the treat over the garden fence and call ‘Here boy, I’ve got a little snack for you’

A few Sundays ago that caused me to change my view of the two dogs. It was a crisp Sunday morning and we were just about to enjoy a lovingly prepared breakfast when the dogs started barking. They were barking constantly for about 10 minutes. After the first few minutes I was spouting the usual ‘Will they shut those dogs up’ and ‘It’s Sunday, can we not get a rest or some peace?’ But after 10 minutes you start to wonder if everything is ok. Our neighbours are retired and I would estimate that they’re in their mid 70’s. He is active enough, pottering in the garden and trips to the local shops etc…We don’t see much of her. In fact I was starting to suspect there was a Norman Bates thing going on as I’ve never seen them together, But I digress. So after 10 minutes continuous barking I decided to give them a knock to see if all was well. Walking up the path I dread to think what would meet me at the front door. Lifeless legs poking into the hallway? A masked gunman with Mr and Mrs tied to a chair? I rang the bell….no answer, oh shit I thought , but I could see one of the little critters running in the hallway. Hmmmmm…. I rang again. Luckily I was greeted by Rob with a slightly perplexed look on his face. It turns out the dogs go apeshit when ever they are hoovering (Rob or his wife, not the dogs) so I could rest easy. I mentioned that I came over because the dogs were barking and I wanted to make sure everything was ok. His response? ‘Dogs bark’ My first thought was ‘Oh ok, well if you and your wife ARE being held hostage or your corpses ARE slowly decaying in the hallway while your dogs bark incessantly in hope to draw the attention of your neighbours, I’ll stay in my house munching on the lovely fluffy pancakes my wife  prepared’ But I kept that thought to myself. Instead I assured him that I was only coming over to make sure all was well, but he couldn’t understand why.

As I walked back over to my house I thought what I had done was a simple friendly, neighbourly act. I don’t know if acts like these are rare, I hope they’re not, but I feel in todays society they are. Although the dogs are still out there barking away, I now hear them differently. Still an annoyance but also something of an alarm bell.

I guess the point of this is blog is to try and encourage people to get to know each other. Do you know the names of the people that live next to you? If you do, good for you. If you don’t, go and give them a knock. You never know, it might just save your life.

T x


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