As much as we love our dogs, at nighttime they induce serious anxiety for us when Baker’s barking gets fired up around 11 pm.
Chevy only joins in the chorus when there’s something real to bark at—a raccoon, a cat, a person, a car in the driveway. Baker is indiscriminate in his barking and feels that the nighttime is the right time to exercise his voice. All night long he barks. At leaves, at wind, at his tail, at his water bowl, whatever. Ben and I sleep with a turbine engine air purifier on the nightstand so we don’t hear him, but our neighbors, the guests at Wisteria Bed and Breakfast are the sad audience for the dog concert.
We’ve been trying new things every night to try and stop the barking, but no luck yet. Our backyard is directly beside the inn, and the dogs’ favorite direction to bark is… You guessed it! I am just worrying myself sick every night imagining Wisteria getting terrible reviews on Trip Advisor. I imagine things like, “Comfortable beds. Great food. Dogs next door kept us up all night.” As a peace offering I decided to make a coconut creme pie for the Schneiders, our sweet neighbors who own the inn. They’ve never once complained, but we know they must be so tired of hearing the pups at night. We carried over the pie and began our apologetic groveling, and they were as sweet as they could be about the whole thing. We ended up spending an hour visiting with them, sitting in the chilly weather on their cozy back porch. I’m so very thankful that we have forgiving and kind people on either side of our house. It makes home feel that much homier.Update: We’ve stopped the bark! We bought this citronella bark collar a few days after this post and it has worked like a dream. If he barks, it sprays citronella and he hates the smell. So every night at bedtime, once we put it on him he lets out one bark, smells the spray and is quiet as a church mouse throughout the night. We take it off first thing in the morning so he can bark to his heart’s content all day long. Miracle.