After I put my son to bed at 9pm, I could hear constant barking from what sounded like a small dog. Next door neighbours recently got a new puppy, so my first concern was that something was wrong next door, like if they were out and there was an intruder the dog was alerted to. Normally I never hear their dog, so it would have been a first. Once I thought of it that way I went out front to check and found that the noise was coming from down the street. It was constant, high-pitched barking.
Back inside I went, hoping the barking would stop. Finally at 10:00 after what seemed like an hour of yappy dog noise echoeing through the neighbourhood, I decided to MAKE it stop. Dressed in a fluffy housecoat over shorts/t-shirt I had been gardening in (too early to get ready for bed but I was cold), I hesitated and thought about changing. I decided not to-I threw DH"s polar fleece jacket on top for extra warmth and headed out down the street. I wasn't sure if I'd find a neglected dog in distress, or if I'd be face to face with an inconsiderate, irresponsible pet owner, but being dressed in a way that screamed INCONVENIENCED didn't seem like a bad thing at the time.
Going 4 houses down and crossing one street, I found the source of the barking. I don't know who lives there, but the place has been for sale for several weeks. As I walked up the driveway the little white dog on the upstairs deck was still barking. It was small like a maltese mix, and I was disturbed at how its owners could be comfortable leaving it up there at all since it could easily jump/fall to injury below, as the railings were uneven and widely spaced. (and if the dog was on a leash it would be hung, you know?)
I pressed the doorbell and waited, curious to find out what kind of person I'd be speaking to, although I had formed a pretty good impression already. A young woman answered, and within a moment a woman my age was there too. Off went my mouth: "I don't know if you know this but your dog is barking REALLY LOUD. I don't know if you can hear it in there but I live several houses down the street and I can hear it in MY house. My kids have to go to school tomorrow. I was just wondering when your dog is going to bed?"
There. It was done. She said something politely apologetic, I said "Have a good evening", and started back home. I got halfway by the time they went upstairs and brought the dog in. I still wonder how they could leave that dog barking out there for an hour-it's not like they were having a loud party inside and couldn't hear it. Maybe they are new to being pet owners.