Monday, May 19, 2008

Team Sophie

I continue to have problems with my upstairs neighbor and I really don't know what to do. He has made it very clear that he does not like dogs; especially Sophie. When we first moved in this neighbor was very nice and said that if he ever made too much noise to let him know. Well, within a couple of weeks he had complained to the manager and said Sophie was barking too much. I think I would understand if Sophie was a barker, but really she is not. She will bark occasionally at something that walks in front of our window, but I am always there to make her stop. When I go to work during the day I leave all the blinds shut so she can not see outside. Plus, this neighbor works during the day and isn't home during the day. After this neighbor complained the first time I wrote him a note apologizing and gave him my cell phone number and told him to call me if her barking ever bothered him. Since then he has been very nice to me and has shared a lot about himself to me. I know more about him then I know about most of my friends. Here are some of the things I know about him:

1) He is bipolar
2) I know all the medications he is on
3) I know that he has been in the hospital twice for his bipolar
4) I know that he feels that he will not live much longer (not too sure what that means..he said he is not suicidal because when he told me this I asked him)

And there are a lot of other things he has told me in regards to when the last time he slept with someone, etc. I always just talked to him because I was trying to smooth things over with him. I have always said hi to him and even found myself checking on him to make sure he is OK.

Well, on Sunday we pulled up at the same time and I said my usual "Hello" and he said, "Hey I have something for you." He then proceeded to hand me a copy of the city ordinance for Excessive Animal Noise. As I was trying to figure out what he had just handed to me he is telling me (in a very aggressive manner) how my dog has woke him up twice this weekend because of her barking. He said that I need to get a shock collar for her and that he has a lawyer because he has rights. I just stood there in shock. Not only at what he was saying to me, but how he was saying it to me. He looked kind of possessed. I told him that he didn't have to be so mean in what he was saying and his response was, "Well, you are not following through with getting your dog to stop barking." Oh, and he told me that I ruined his weekend.

I called the manager of my complex today and explained the situation. I told her that it's not fair to me to live in constant fear that every time my dog barks I am going to be evicted. I don't like it when Sophie barks and anytime she barks I make her stop. Dogs bark and my thought is if you don't like dogs then maybe you should move to a complex that does not allow dogs. I would think if Sophie was a dog that just sat in the apartment and barked all day then she would be barking at the many people, kids, dogs and cats we pass when we go on our walks.

The manager kind of agreed with me and said they would address this with him if he complained again.

I can totally understand this neighbor complaining if Sophie barked all the time, but you can ask any of my friends if Sophie is a barker. Yes she does bark occasionally, but overall she is a very good and calm dog. I am wondering if I should start hitting the ceiling every time he makes too much noise; and believe me he is not a neighbor that makes no noise. There have been several times that he has either dropped somthing or stomped his foot so hard on the floor that it startled me and the cats.

Would you guys do anything different or do you have any other suggestions.

And yes I did add the picture of Sophie to prove how sweet and completely innocent she is. And in case you had any doubt, I am on Team Sophie.


Sandra said...

Laddie would have had me evicted the first day. And there isn't much you can do, dogs bark. Babies cry. People who live close to other people have to get used to a certain amount of noise, or go live farther away from other people.

That said, he probably is going to continue hassling you, if a dog barking 'ruins his weekend', geez. By the time your lease ends, you might decide it's easier to move than to listen to such a whiner.

amy h said...

I just wouldn't concern myself with it too much. Bipolar tendencies run on my dad's side of the family, and I know that can sometimes lead to an obsession with a particular issue. For my grandpa, it was burning wood. He would freak out whenever the neighbors would have wood fires or barbecues. He was constantly writing his government representatives about it, etc. Maybe this guy's issue is dogs barking. You may not be able to win on this no matter how much you try to keep Sophie quiet. So I would just be polite to him in person but not get too worked up over it.

Lynilu said...

It's not too unusual for someone with a bipolar disorder to have hair trigger responses to small things. I wouldn't worry about it too much be keep track of his mood swings, especially the times when he is threatening, just in case you need to show his erratic behaviors (apt. mgmt. or police).

Sophie isn't a big barker. He's just overly ... jerky!

Jaded Mama said...

Sounds like he is off his meds again.....some people just hate dogs and will use any excuse.

He lives in a complex that allows dogs...sorry but I would leave him a good set of ear plugs taped to his door (no note just the plugs)

Julie said...

I think he might just enjoy having something to complain about, and if you get riled, he wins. He lives in an apartment that allows dogs, and dogs bark.
I have a neighbor downstairs that complains about every little thing too, and over the years I have just learned to ignore him.

Ragged Around the Edges said...

Have any other neighbors complained? If not, I think that's something to mention.

Monogram Queen said...

Reilly is not a barker either.
Team Sophie here as well!
I think he is just nuts and fixates on things as well as makes things up. Just keep the Manager aware of the situation.

Caroline said...

sandra--most of my friends are on the kansas side, so i am already thinking of moving when my lease is up..but we will see.

amy--even though my work involves working with people that are bipolar it's so different when it's part of your personal life. it doesnt help that i am not a real patient person either

lynilu--good idea about the documenting. i had been writing down when sophie barked and what she barked at but had stopped because he seemed to calm down.

jaded mama--he has said that he is thinking about moving and i really hope that is true.

julie--i am learning to ignore him and not get so upset, but again patience is not my best trait.

ragged--none of my other neighbors have complained and most think he is crazy as well

patti--i am thinking of having a t-shirt made just for him that says "team sophie". i wonder what his reaction would be. :)

Chelle said...

Sounds to me like the bipolar disease is setting him off. I have a college classmate who is bipolar who files for divorce everytime her disease flares up.

I'm sorry you're having to deal with this. It sounds like you're doing the right thing by talking to the complex management.

Anonymous said...

I would have started with not losing my house. But since you have already done that I would move Oh wait a minute you have no money to do that either. Maybe I would take a look at my life and wonder if I was really providing such a good living environment for my animals in such a small living space.