Dear Urban Diplomat: How do I respond to my neighbour who is threatening my (admittedly very loud) dog?
Dear Urban Diplomat,
My husband and I received a note in our mailbox saying, “If you don’t shut your dog up, something bad is going to happen.” I suppose our dog does bark a lot—we’ve become sort of immune to it—but this seems like an overly aggressive way to let us know. We’re not sure what to do next: ignore it, call the cops, chat up the neighbours and look for signs of thuggishness. What do you recommend?
—Ruffed Up, Corso Italia
Your ’roid-ragey neighbours shouldn’t have threatened you. That’s an extreme reaction, and I suggest you call the police’s non-emergency number. An officer will come take a report and discuss next steps, which may involve canvassing a few nearby houses in an effort to identify the guilty party, who will then receive a stern reminder that bossy letters are best reserved for advice columnists, not angry neighbours. That said, allowing your dog to terrorize the block is not okay. Enrol the mutt in obedience training, and check out the ThunderShirt, a jacket that calms dogs by essentially swaddling them like a baby, and PetSafe’s bark-activated spray collar, which spritzes citronella into the offender’s furry face. Both apparently work wonders, and no, the Urban Diplomat is neither a shareholder nor a dog hater.
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