Neighborly Advice

I need your advice, internet pals.

You might know about my long-standing problem with constantly barking dogs (see: Idiot Dog Liberation Front, May the Force and Prosper). It's a problem with our rear neighbors, their back yard butts up to our back yard. They have a million children (or five) and two dogs that bark all the time. So much that I think I'll use the word "literally." They literally bark all the time. They literally bark literally all of the literal time.

I've talked to them and written to them, I've had animal control send bark letters to them. It even gotten to where over a year ago animal control warned them "this is it, if there's another complaint, it's going to be a big fine." That's when I started my text relationship with the mom.

She's perfectly human. When I text her to ask her to stop them, she does. And then she might pay attention for a few weeks and not let them bark for more than fifteen minutes at a time. If she's there. But then they just forget and let it go on and on. Or they'll leave for a vacation in Puerto Rico and let the dogs bark for three days straight.

That time, the Puerto Rico Incident, I kind of flipped out on her in a text and said that I ought to have the right to enjoy my own yard and not have two dogs barking at me for days on end. Her response? "K."

A typical friendly exchange.

A typical friendly exchange.

It seems simple. "They're assholes. Unleash the Kraken!" And I do fantasize about their house burning down sometimes. But it's more complicated than that, I think.

I wonder if it really is a Southern thing. We've lived in two neighborhoods down here, and visited many many others. In all of them, leaving a couple dogs outside to just bark at whatever the hell they please for hours at a time is just a thing. There's at least five other houses in this neighborhood who have dogs barking all the time. But they aren't right in my ear every day.

But here I am, this Northern boy, rolling into town and basically saying "your culture violates a noise ordinance and ought to be stamped out of existence."

The most recent time she responded with one letter.

The most recent time she responded with one letter.

Second, my kid goes to school with one of the kids in the House of Dog. They like each other and have even played together.

I feel like I can't bring myself to dump all my barking logs on the county and say "let the fines begin." How might it complicate things I can't foresee? We're neighbors. We're not going anywhere. We have to live with each other. But I'm not sure I can take it anymore. Should I send one last warning and say "this is it, I'm keeping logs, I'm recording barking, it's all going into the county report?" Should I not even warn them, and just call in the authorities? 

I'm willing to accept that it bothers me more than it bothers most people. But there's a clear regulation about nuisance animals, and it's being broken, so I know I'm in the legal right. But then I'd be the person who went legal on a neighbor.

Am I missing something? Is there another way? I did get good advice to load a shotgun with rock salt and train the dogs that way. But I feel like that's probably breaking other ordinances that I don't know about.