Give neigh­bour chance to quiet dogs

Winnipeg Free Press - Section G - - ENTERTAINMENT - MAU­REEN SCURFIELD

DEAR MISS LONE­LY­HEARTS: Af­ter spend­ing day af­ter day lis­ten­ing to our neigh­bour’s dogs, we need ad­vice on how to tell her nicely that the bark­ing is an­noy­ing, with­out dam­ag­ing our friend­ship. It’s not bad in win­ter be­cause we are not out­side now, but when it’s nice we have to lis­ten to her dogs con­stantly and we are to­tally dis­gusted. Our prob­lem is we live in a ru­ral area and need ad­vice quickly or we will have a ter­ri­ble sum­mer again. — An­noyed By Dogs Bark­ing

Dear An­noyed: It sounds like you haven’t told her even once. Grum­bling be­hind her back is not fair. Give your neigh­bour a chance to rec­tify the sit­u­a­tion by telling her this: “Maybe we’re not used to the sound like you are, and you may not even no­tice this, but the dogs are bark­ing a lot and mak­ing it un­com­fort­able for us to be out­side.” She may feel badly, and that may be the end of it. She may keep the dogs in more, es­pe­cially when she’s not at home, and they are lonely or hun­gry or un­com­fort­able with the tem­per­a­ture in their en­clo­sure. If she doesn’t respond to that first com­mu­ni­ca­tion, tell her more firmly. Then you start call­ing the au­thor­i­ties about the noise. At that point, she has to know she has caused the prob­lem be­cause she’s had two warn­ings al­ready. Most city neigh­bours would just put in the call.

Dear Miss Lone­ly­hearts: I am hot and un­happy in bed. My hus­band sleeps on one side and I sleep on the other and the two lit­tle kids sleep in the mid­dle, and sweat up a storm. We agreed to have a big communal fam­ily bed, on prin­ci­ple (my idea) when we started this fam­ily-rais­ing project. Now I know I was dead wrong. I want those hot lit­tle bod­ies out and in their own beds. My hus­band doesn’t agree. We haven’t had sex, ex­cept awk­wardly in the shower ev­ery cou­ple of weeks, for five months. My hus­band doesn’t care. I think I have be­come noth­ing more than Big Cranky Momma and maybe he’s get­ting “it” else­where. Please help. — B.C. Momma, North End

Dear Momma: There’s noth­ing wrong with chang­ing your mind when things are go­ing wrong. Just get the “big kids bed” project un­der­way and change things over your­self. Your hus­band won’t howl — why should he — though he may not want to help with the tran­si­tion. So what! You may be sav­ing your mar­riage.

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