Neighbor harassing us about our dog


Old 02-16-07, 10:50 AM
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Join Date: Feb 2007
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Unhappy Neighbor harassing us about our dog

A month or so ago my pregnant wife and I were in our backyard playing with our son when our neighbor on that side approached and started to berate us about not cleaning up dog poop in our own yard. Her reason was she was tired of looking at our dog's poop from her kitchen window.

Our dog goes potty in a small area in our backyard, and we clean it twice a week. This area is right up against our house and not hear our property line. We attempted to explain that we thought it was better than letting our dog go all over our yard but she just walked away.

So then we go to the hospital for our second child to be born. While we were there, this neighbor took photos of our dog's poopy area and emailed them to the HOA. About a week or so later we got a letter from the HOA informing us that we need to clean up the dog poop area, which I had already done in the meantime!

The HOA has a rule that pet waste cannot accumulate in your own yard, but the HOA rep even admitted that it was a subjective rule. The HOA rep who looked at our yard even said he didn't see what the big deal was, but had to send the letter to us based on her complaint. The funny thing is this nutjob owns a dog too...

So I continue to clean his area twice a week. This area is NOT on our property line with this wacko neighbor, it's up against our own house. I have recently been told by another neighbor that this psycho plans on filing a complaint EVERY WEEK in the summer if we do not clean the area every single day!

Now I'm upset and am wondering what actions to pursue. I have heard a restraining order may be the best bet short of actually suing her for harassment.

And please, no replies saying "Just clean the poop every single time."
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Old 02-16-07, 01:44 PM
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I hate suggesting you get in a p'ing contest with the neighbor, but she owns a dog, too? Hmmm, I would say two can play that game.

Of course the best course of action would be to clean the area daily. Unfortunately that may not cure the underlying problem on the neighbors part and she may then complain of barking (whether or not there is any) or some other petty annoyance.
Old 02-16-07, 02:22 PM
Join Date: Feb 2005
Location: Frozen Tundra, WI
Posts: 304
Is there anything in the HOA covanents stating you cannot have a bright pink (neon) barrier (it could be very small, just make sure whatever obstruction to view you use, it is VERY annoying) in the yard? If not, put it between her window and the doggy doo area so she will have to look at the annoying barrier as opposed to the dog poop.

You may want to try to get a platoon of garden gnomes, about 4 feet tall, wearing sunglasses, with colors as loud as you can find (try using colors not found in nature ).

Just a thought.
Old 02-16-07, 02:29 PM
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Great idea, Dave; I think I would add a sign to the barrier; something like, "What the h*** are you looking over here for?"
Old 02-16-07, 02:53 PM
Join Date: Feb 2005
Location: Frozen Tundra, WI
Posts: 304
You could have each of them holding a sign, kind of like a Burma Shave series (split this up as you will).

We're not mean
We don't eat soup
We're just here
So you don't see
This pile o' poop
Burma Shave
Old 02-16-07, 03:14 PM
Join Date: Jul 2005
Location: SF Bay Area
Posts: 930
You could put a mirror with "a___hole" stenciled on the top.
Old 02-16-07, 04:59 PM
logcabincook's Avatar
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Location: Rocky Mountain Foothills
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Put up a plywood sheet with an outhouse painted on it...
Old 02-21-07, 03:54 PM
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Location: Eastern US
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I, too agree with one of responsers, ... 'underline issue,' ... the neighbor doesn't make any effort to get along with the next neighbor, you and your family. Also, wondering whether she has any kids, minor or adult children?
If she never has, then she might have some jealousy for the happiness you and your family has, ... like you, your wife and a kid playing happily in the backyard. That's most likely causing this issue, ... only dog-poop is a kind an excuse to try keeping you busy, not only with your family but tending more on the dog.

Paying too much attention on your neighbor might not get a positive answer. Rather, if I were in your shoe, then I would mention the inspector about dealing with the difficult neighbor. As we, all humans have good and bad experiences in the life. It sounds like you're a good and nice neighbor whom I can see in our neighborhood, too.

It's a good idea to build some barrier in between your house and hers, and also try to avoid any confrontation with this, grachy neighbor. Because, what she does the next is go to an authority that we, normaly do not take to that level, but sounds like she does.

Aside from this, above, ... she may have some psychological issue that causing her very moody and unhappy. If in that case, probably you need to avoid her the best you can, ... like make sure she's not around the yard before going outside.

Also, time might be a good answer for this issue, ... she may need more time to understand you and your family more.
Old 02-21-07, 04:02 PM
Join Date: Feb 2006
Location: Collinsville/Maryville, IL
Posts: 9
Since she has a dog, you could just clean up your dog's feces and spread it on her yard then take pics of it and send it in to the HOA.

Was she on your property when the pics were taken?
Old 02-21-07, 05:02 PM
Join Date: Jun 2006
Posts: 35
Hmmmm.........I had a neighbor like that myself a few years back.

My problem was over the radio being played too loud at my house (not late, loud, or anything like that). He never discussed the issue with me & called the police several times. (the radio was barely loud enough to hear, and was low enough for us to talk) The officers said no problems here & would leave.

The guy was handicapped & living alone, so I figured he was just jealous of us having fun. I felt sorry for him & tried to talk it over, even invited him over to join us. I thought it went pretty well, until the next week he did the same thing. The police eventually told me that they couldn't respond to non amplified noises. Soooo, That Friday morning I woke up early & tried to cut circles in plywood with a skill saw by his bedroom window for a couple of hours.

Problem solved.

This guy wasn't nuts though........just an a...hole. If she's crazy passive-aggressive may not work very well. Could you just build a fence? Plant bushes? I like the barrier idea best.

Of could do that & have her find something else to complain about.
Old 02-22-07, 05:06 AM
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Location: USA
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I'm with Toy Guy, I'd just ask why she keeps looking in your yard.

If you have a privacy fence, sun bath naked a few times, either she will keep looking, or she won't...

My adage has always been, don't like what you see in my window, stop looking in my window, ya pervert!
Old 02-23-07, 11:52 AM
Join Date: Jul 2002
Location: Des Moines, Washington
Posts: 157

Do you have kids? We do and part of earning their allowance is doing "poop patrol". We provide the equipment and they provide the labor. I don't like looking at poop either... especially in my yard.
Old 02-24-07, 07:24 PM
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I seem to recall some TV show on PBS where a rich San Francisco railroad tycoon wanted to buy someone's property so he could own the whole block, and when they wouldn't sell, he basically erected a 3 story wall around the man's house. (story at: )

Perhaps you could build a tall "privacy fence" if it does not fall into the legal category of being a "spite fence"?
Old 02-26-07, 01:20 PM
Join Date: Nov 2005
Posts: 249
Let her keep calling, she calls enough for no valid reason and she hangs herself. You wont have to filea complait, the HOA will.
Old 03-01-07, 04:33 PM
Join Date: Mar 2007
Location: greensboro
Posts: 17
did you ever stop too think that maybe the smell has something too do with it, i have a neighbor like you, he has a dog and cats and every time i go out in my backyard for any reason the smell just about knocks me down, he cleans it a few times a week but it still smells like what it is (the bad word for poop)

clean it up everyday, not everyone wants too see and smell dog poop all the time................

and if you aren't ready for neighbor complaints or don't like dealing with them then move out in the country, "sticks" as we rednecks call it.
Old 03-01-07, 05:01 PM
Join Date: Aug 2000
Location: USA
Posts: 15,834
"Her reason was she was tired of looking at our dog's poop from her kitchen window." The sight of feces during food preparation can be quite unappetizing and upsetting. Some of us have weaker stomachs than others. She surely must be thinking while standing at the kitchen sink that of all the places in your backyard for your dog to do its business why does it have to be outside her kitchen window. The sight does not conjure up images of a delicious meal. Simply move the location of where the dog does its business. This is the most practical solution and will make for better relations with the neighbor.

"The funny thing is this nutjob owns a dog too..." The neighbor's dog is surely not defecating in view of your kitchen window. "This wacko neighbor .... psycho plans on filing a complaint EVERY WEEK in the summer if we do not clean the area every single day!" "Now I'm upset and am wondering what actions to pursue." The least expensive, most practical, respectful, and sensitive solution is to move the sight of dog feces from within view of the neighbor's window.

Another option is to accompany your dog while it does its business and pick it up with a pooper scooper and place in a waste bag. Many Homeowners' Associations, Community Associations, Condominiums, Apartments, Hotels, Motels, Cities and Countys have pet waste stations and require that you accompany your dog with a scoop and deposit droppings into the waste station. People have a right to enjoy the surrounding landscapes, whether on your property or not, without having to experience dog pollution and its associated health hazards and other problems such as the attraction of rodents and other animals that may feed on feces left on the ground.
Old 04-07-07, 09:55 AM
Join Date: Jul 2006
Location: Denver
Posts: 36
The woman must have eyes like an eagle! When I clean my yard I have a heck of a time finding "the stuff". Think about switching your dogs to a raw or BARF diet, less waste to the waste. By the way what kind of dog, sml or lrg?
+1 on the barrier live of fence. Annoying sounds fun, I have a friend who lived in a HOA community they insisted he paint his shed, they had no color ordances. Now is he the the joker or the joke of the hood.
Good luck, better to do a little something to get along with a nieghbor IMO.
Old 04-08-07, 08:08 AM
Join Date: Nov 2001
Location: Taylors, SC
Posts: 9,483
If the neighbor complains and the HOA considers that the complaint is unfounded, ignoring the complainant might be the best course of action. This action may be being taken because it pushes your button.

Some folks just don't have enough to do. This seems to be one of them.

A fence can be an extraordinary benefit.
Old 04-08-07, 09:23 AM
Join Date: Mar 2007
Posts: 230
Robert Frost wrote that "good fences make good neighbors". Maybe good, tall, solid fences make better neighbors!
Old 04-11-07, 02:50 PM
Join Date: Aug 2004
Location: USA
Posts: 215
Dogs by nature prefer not to defecate in their own surroundings, but many learn to do so out of necessity, and eventually become accustomed to it. Hence your dog picked an out-of-way spot.

I know it's kind of late now, but if you had walked the dog twice a day while she was growing up, she would do her business during her walks, and then to learn to wait for her walks to do it. (Healthy dogs only eliminate once or twice a day.)

If you start walking her today, regularly, and twice a day, she may still learn this behavior. And you will both benefit. Get the kids involved, and be sure to take bags.

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