Idiot Dog Liberation Front

My neighbors have two very frustrated dogs that are left alone every day, and many weekends, including this one. They have a dog door so they have free run inside and out to their yard, which means that they can stay warm and I assume eat and drink, but all other times they are outside barking. Barking at me, barking at other neighbors, at joggers, at leaves, at nothing.

I've written polite letters, suggesting a bark collar. That isn't a real solution, since the problem is they are unfit to have a dog, but it might at least quiet them a bit and save my sanity. I've called the county ombudsman, animal control, sheriff's office because since the statutes are clear about nuisance animals and noise ordinances. Nothing has changed for months upon months.

Dogs that bark constantly aren't guarding, they're frustrated. These dogs are abandoned all day and then many weekends. They're bored out of their minds. This is no life for them, and I feel terrible for them. This seems to be the Southern Way to have a dog. Buy it, then leave it outside. I've never experienced this until I've lived down here. You can hear them barking all over the city. The difference is this is adjacent to our house, and it really makes it impossible to be outside. Or really just impossible to think while they're out.

I've invented spectacular Rube Goldberg devices in my head, chaining together a sound detector to a garden sprinkler that drenches them when they have their freak outs every day. But that seems un-neighborly, so I just set my Zoom H4n to record the barking when it starts, in case I need to eventually go to court. Not as sexy as the dog catapult I imagined.

This is Thanksgiving week, and after they barked all Thanksgiving day, and all day the next day with no human intervention, I called the county again to try to force the process and make something happen. But no one is on duty over the holiday, so I left a message with the animal control folks, planning to talk with them Monday.

This morning, the Saturday after Thanksgiving, was the first non-barking morning in a while. Blissfully quiet. I took our dumdums out for their morning constitutional, when who comes trotting down the street but the two bastard neighbor dogs. They didn't make a sound, they were just wagging their tails and prancing around having the best time.

"Hey guys," I said to them. "I've got some spare leashes, how about you come along with me and you can get out of the street?" They wagged their tails double time. SO HAPPY. Then they tore off down the street turned right and hauled ass off toward the woods around a big creek. I didn't see collars on them, which might be the stupidest thing you could imagine, but I wouldn't be surprised given the level of responsible ownership here.

Well, crap. It's like a terrible wish come true. I went back home and looked at our fence and the neighbors' fence, trying to figure out how they did it. They didn't come through our yard, but I can't see a hole or a loose part.

We got into our car and followed, searching around all the streets looking and listening. Keep in mind now, our neighbors have been gone for days. I've been wishing for these dogs (and their owners) to disappear for a year now, and here I am driving around trying to find these untrained, frustrated, moron dogs because as much as I hate them, no dog deserves to die lost and alone.

No sign of them. I wrote a note and left it on top of our neighbors' days of uncollected mail. FedEx left a "could not deliver" note on their front door. Maybe there's something wrong and they had to pick up and go urgently. But they leave the dogs unattended at the house for days all the time, it's just that this time the dogs finally figured out a path to liberation.

But I'm on record as the person filing noise ordinance complaints. I don't do it anonymously, so they know it's me. I don't want them to think I did some vigilante dog justice, no matter how much I fantasized about it. There's certainly a motive, though. And even though there's no proof that I've done anything, I'm really not in the mood to have my neighbors harboring a grudge of that magnitude.

But then, I also doubt they give a shit about those dogs at all. These are unhappy dogs. Or were. May they end up on someone's porch who is willing to love and truly care for them.

UPDATE 11/30/2014: Someone found the morons and retuned them to their stupid home. The owners are still not home, and the dogs spent most of their time since their return barking themselves hoarse. I have gone from a caring person to someone who'd love to see the neighbors' house burn to the ground with the dogs inside.