I hate dogs


Yep, there you are, I’ve said it. I hate dogs. Can’t stand them. They drive me nuts, and their stupid owners drive me even more insane. I suppose dogs can’t help being what they are—they can’t help being stupid enough to bark all hours of the day and night at nothing, in an endless repetitive, sanity-destroying way. It’s not their fault that some complete fucking idiot bought them and then shoved them in an inner-city backyard for 23 hours a day. I understand that. But I still hate ’em.

I had no real opinion about dogs one way or the other until I started working from home in inner-city Sydney. Then, slowly and surely, my opinion of them began to turn. I had to endure what so many of the dog owners don’t, which is the endless fucking barking of bored and stressed dogs with nothing to do all day. The owner comes home after work and they’re greeted by their loving doggy companion, but they’re blissfully unaware of the stress and grief their furry friend has caused the whole neighbourhood. And it’s just not people like me, working from home—what about old and retired people who stay at home during the day? Or disabled people? Who speaks for all of us, forced to listen to the same mind-shattering repetitive noise over and over and over for hours and hours?

Not the councils, that’s for sure. The advice from our esteemed council usually begins with ‘have a friendly chat with your neighbour about their dog’. Are they fucking serious? Do they have no concept whatsoever of the lengths to which people will go to deny any possibility of wrongdoing on the part of their beloved pet? You might as call into account the way they bring up their children. People have been shot—and I am not exaggerating. Shot. I politely tried to talk in a civilised fashion with someone about their barking dog once. I was verbally abused and threatened.

The next piece of advice is to get a petition together. Yep, walk around your neighbourhood getting people’s signatures about someone’s barking dog. I need hardly explain the possible consequences of such an activity. You as well paint a big target on your back.

So instead of the person who isn’t taking care of their pet properly having to take responsibility, the onus is completely on the poor people who are quietly going about their day to day lives without inflicting stress and anger on their neighbours. This is wrong folks, wrong. I should be able to call a council hotline and have professionals visit the owner’s house to inform them that there have been complaints about their dog and they have come to check on the dog’s living conditions.

There’s a yappy horror a few doors down, that has been barking its head off for the last four years. Likewise, another large dog that barks in an endless two-bark pattern at all hours. We have a shopping centre nearby where people leave their dogs to bark hysterically for hours while they go shopping. There’s one there that I can instantly recognise—it barks in short, vicious bursts that I can clearly hear even with the doors closed, a street away. I’ve seen it jump into the air everytime it barks. The owner has left it tied up there for hours, at least twice a week, for the last four years, and no one has ever done anything about it. A year ago I suggested to the shopping centre management that someone should talk to the owner. They treated me like a complete loony.

People buy dogs with no understanding whatsoever of the responsibility they are taking on, and everyone around them suffers. They apologise for them to the most unbelievable degree, even when they’ve just chewed some innocent kid’s face off. Amazingly, they seem to be completely deaf to the mindless noise from their pet, even when they’re at home at night and it’s still going off at top volume. And most incredibly of all, not the smallest iota of awareness, let alone guilt, floats through their tiny minds while their animal is driving neighbours to seriously consider selling up and moving.

Personally, I don’t think anyone with a yard of less than a prescribed size, and who hasn’t attended a comprehensive course on dog care, should be allowed to own one. Dogs should be on large properties where they can run around, and where their attentive owners know how to take care of them properly and keep them happy—and not barking.

OK, I don’t really hate dogs. I’ve met some nice ones, even though they do tend to be dumb and slobbery and smelly. I can think of one I even like. Just do me a favour. If you own one, don’t inflict it on your neighbours, OK? Take care of it, teach it not to bark, train it to be sociable, walk it twice a day. You’ve taken on a big responsibility. Remember not all of us love your dog.

PS: Since I wrote this a few days ago, across the street, yet another inconsiderate dog owner has moved in bringing with them yet another big barking dog.