Explosive Daughter Causing Neighborhood Issues

Question: Hello Luise: My 28 year-old daughter has moved home, temporarily. She has been so helpful and most of the time even tempered. She does have a short fuse and is often very verbal with her opinions. We have a dog next door that is very old and barks quite a bit. My daughter has the bedroom closest to the noise. We have mentioned the barking to the neighbors and they don’t know what to do. One day, when I was away, my daughter called the police and complained. I was very upset. It does not really bother me enough to call the police. If it did I would talk to my neighbors, seriously, first. They are great neighbors otherwise. We watch each other’s homes, etc. I never heard anything on whether the police ever came or not. My daughter insists that this is unacceptable. I see her point but the dog is old and sometimes in pain. Our neighbors want to keep him through the summer, if possible. I do not know what to say to my daughter. We just got on even ground, relationship wise, and I am half afraid to stand up to her and cause any waves. I do admit when the dog gets to barking that it can be hard to sleep, concentrate or study. Any advice? Dolores

Answer: Dear Dolores: The crux of the problem here is not the barking dog. It is your fear of someone you are offering free board and room to. You are an adult and so is your guest, daughter or not. She has a strong and valid complaint but it is still your house, your neighbor and your decision. How sad that neither of you seems to see that. It looks from here like she has you under her thumb. You indicate that your relationship is improving, yet you are letting her intimidate you. That behavior needs to evolve, for true healing to take place.

If you are afraid to confront her, then go over to your neighbors and find out if the police ever came. Explain to them that you have a grown child with a short fuse living with you, temporarily, that you have little or no control over. Apologize to them while making it plain that you find their dog’s behavior very hard to continue to live so close to. Ask if they can keep their dog inside more of the time and/or put him on the other side of their house when he’s out, to reduce the noise. Is there any way to put your daughter farther away from the noise, maybe in a large, used RV on the other side of your house? If your daughter ever wants to stay with you again, after this visit is over, create some very clearly defined rules beforehand and discuss them with her. Make it clear that any infraction on her part will bring about the immediate end of her stay. She isn’t going to bother to grow up until you do. Blessings, Luise

4 Responses to Explosive Daughter Causing Neighborhood Issues

  1. Dianne September 3, 2006 at 11:23 pm #

    Another dog problem I have is that my neighbors have mentioned our noisy dog. I try to catch him and he is very naughty. He will not come in when called and barks constantly. I don’t see why I can’t put a muffle on his mouth because he is not housetrained. Another neighbor said that’s abuse if I put a muzzle on him. Only after he has eaten what do you think? My dog will not shut up. He has toys, bones, and even us we play and talk to him, but he still barks at us when he’s happy. He barks all the time, nonstop.

  2. Dianne September 3, 2006 at 11:27 pm #

    I want to gain custody of my grandchild, but don’t know where to begin. They live in California and I live in ND. Would I have to file in California courts; or can I do it online some how or over the phone? I have not much income for a lawyer and traveling. She is not a good mother, and until she gets her life straightened out, I want that child in a good environment. Thank you.

  3. Luise September 10, 2006 at 9:20 pm #

    Dear Dianne: I hate to have to tell you this but you need to get rid of your dog. It sounds like he needs to live out in the sticks, not in a close neighborhood. It’s not your neighbors fault that you haven’t trained him. And they shouldn’t have to pay the price for that. Muzzles are dangerous, if the dog is attacked he can’t defend himself and if his throws up, he could suffocate. We have a dog in the next apartment that never stops barking all day and half the night. However, it is a small dog with a small bark and it is inside so the sound is muffled.
    The owner is 100 years old, so we do our best. I’m afraid if we lived by you, it would be a different story. You just can’t continue to be so thoughtless.
    It’s not the pup’s fault. It’s yours. The only other idea I have is to have him operated on and have his voice box altered. Sometimes this works and sometimes it doesn’t and it’s usually costly. Blessings, Luise

  4. Luise September 10, 2006 at 9:28 pm #

    Dear Dianne: There is no way around the situation concerning your granddaughter that I know of that doesn’t involve lawyers and the courts. If she is being abused, you can contact Welfare but you would have to out there to do that through the Child Protection Services. There is no way to do it online or by phone…it’s too complex. I commend you for wanting to help out and give the child a better break. Can you talk to your daughter and take her unofficially for the good of the child? Blessings, Luise

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