The Perth woman received a letter from her neighbour with a numbered list of pointed complaints about her dog, that began by telling her: “I am writing to let you know your dog is causing a nuisance to me and my family by barking/whining/howling.”
“The intention of this letter is to advise you that this nuisance is occurring so that you may take action to resolve the situation,” the letter continued.
The note then listed accusations against the woman and her dog, claiming the dog barked throughout the day and night, “for periods up to and in excess of an hour”, and claimed the dog barked whether or not people were home.
“Your dog appears to be barking at everything and anything that moves, meaning our children are no longer able to play in the backyard of our home,” the neighbour wrote.
The note then repeatedly urged the woman to take action to “resolve” the situation.
“I hope that the information provided allows you to address the nuisance barking an that this matter may be resolved amicable (sic)” the note finished.
It was signed without a name with the author identifying themselves as a concerned neighbour.
The dog’s owner, a mother with a son who suffers from a medical condition, didn’t take kindly to the anonymous criticism and unloaded on her neighbour in a lengthy online rant on Wednesday.
The mother disputed her neighbour’s claims about her dog’s barking, and said the dog is trained to alert her to one of her children’s seizures. She also claimed the woman’s children, who she called “noisy brats” stopped her being able to enjoy her own home.
“What would you do if you get one of these letters from a ‘concerned neighbour’?” she asked a local Facebook group.
“I think that it is bull … Let me just point out that I’m home all day, everyday and my dog only barks if the postie comes past or if someone knocks on the door.
“And if she does bark it’s for no more than a few minutes especially if our six-year-old son is home and is having a … seizure.”
The mother explained her dog was trained as a medical aid, designed to bark, alerting her and others to her son’s silent seizures, which are triggered by hyperactivity.
“He can have up to 100 silent seizures a day and each one is very tiring on his little body,” she wrote.
She then turned the criticism back onto her neighbour.
“So to my lovely neighbour from Farley Way, Bayswater … tell your kids to shut up 'cause I’d love to sit in my backyard with a glass of wine and read a book in peace … but I can’t do that because your loud obnoxious kids are always yelling and screaming and disturbing my right to some peace and quiet in my own backyard.
“So there … how does that feel?” she asked.
“I have to lock myself inside because I can’t sit outside and enjoy the fresh air due to your noisy brats.”
The woman received support from some commenters, who said her neighbour was being unreasonable.
“Your neighbour is bored and has no life, plenty of idiots like this around unfortunately,” one commenter wrote.
“Go and talk to her. She might be understanding,” others said.
“If you know where it came from, go speak to them …. I’m sure they’re only human trying to live in peace and quiet,” another urged.
But other commenters felt like the mother had “dog owner denial”.
“Settle down,” one commenter said. “If your dog just barked occasionally you wouldn’t get this letter so I predict you’re full of s***.”
“I need confirmation that I’ve read this right,” one man said. “The dog barks at the postman and anyone walking by, it also barks a hundred times or more for your son’s seizures, then it barks at the fence when your neighbours kids are playing in the yard and you claim that dogs are meant to bark?
“It sounds to me as though your dog is as loud and obnoxious as you,” he said, attracting some laugh reactions.
“You’re lucky you got this letter so you can do something about it instead of the ranger rocking up,” one woman said, with others advising letters of this type are a first step before local council steps in with official orders.
“Be glad that your neighbour was respectful and didn’t do what most do and dob you in to the ranger,” another advised.