I am fortunate that the incessantly barking dog in the next door apartment cannot be heard from our apartment. We have big thick doors and walls and almost no sound penetrates.
But every time I leave the apartment – or come back – I can hear it yapping.
Now I have nothing against small dogs. I don’t know why god made them so noisy but I am sure there is a reason – just as I am sure there is a desperate need for Irukandji jellyfish - although it’s hard to see what that could be.
But small dogs I cannot hear do not bother me much. Although I do wonder whether or not my neighbours are deaf. Or is it that after a while they no longer hear the yapping and it just becomes background noise?
I could ask my son Lenny who has two small dogs – but I am sure they are very well behaved. Although the crazy one (also named Lenny) was not present last time I visited. He goes ape any time there are visitors and tries to tear their clothes off and urinate on them. I think he is a Republican.
In Sydney we had – for a time - the neighbours from hell. They bought the house next door and renovated it from top to bottom. But he ran a building company so they only worked on the house sporadically – when his business was slow.
This meant that a job that could have taken three months took eighteen and we all nearly went stark staring mad in the process.
There would be a lull for a few weeks and then the hammering and sawing and yelling and loud music playing would start up again at dawn. This would go on for a few days and they would go away – possibly for a week – possibly for a month.
Muffin in fact did go mad and licked all the fur off her abdomen and sides. It took her a long time to get furry again and she never recovered fully.
Anyway they had two small dogs who they kept inside while the building work was going on but once it was finished they let them out of the house and they would have barking competitions for about 22 hours per day.
They also sat in their back garden and smoked incessantly (the people not the dogs). Apparently they did not smoke in their house so as not to offend themselves. The smoking and the dogs effectively destroyed our outdoor life and we retreated to our lounge room and then came to Vienna.
Now we only have to worry about the people who take their dogs out each day to defecate on the pavement.