My nextdoor neighbor lets her German Shepherd out into the backyard about 7:30 each morning.  When the weather is tolerable she leaves the dog out all day while she's at work.  I know this because the moment the sliding glass door on her back porch opens, the dog starts barking and doesn't quit until it goes back inside sometime that evening.

I've heard stories over the years about people being driven nuts by a neighbor's incessantly barking dog but, heretofore, I had not experienced the pleasure myself.  It's like the drip of a leaky faucet.  You can't help but anxiously listen for the next drop, or in this case, the next bark.  At first it was highly annoying, but my wife and I are learning to live with it. It's certainly not worth damaging the relationship with our neighbor by demanding that she do something to stop it.

However, I do empathize with those who can't cope.  Most of these people write letters to the editor of the local paper or call the police.  (Most municipalities and/or parishes in Louisiana have an excessive barking ordinance, including Caddo Parish.) What I can't abide is those that think it's okay to kill their neighbor's pet for doing something that annoys them.

We've all seen the news reports of the people that take the law into their own hands by becoming judge, jury, and executioner.  Some concoct schemes to hide their evil deed by clandestinely poisoning the animal.  Others, as in the recent case of a Caddo Parish man, just grab a gun and shoot the dog and come up with an elaborate excuse if they're caught.

The Louisiana Radio Network reports that Tommy Collinsworth, Jr., has been charged with cruelty to animals for shooting and killing his neighbor's pet dachshund. (This does not seem to be a case of excessive barking.)  According to Sheriff Spokesperson Bobby Herring, Collinsworth's neighbors' pet dachshund, Chloe, had wandered into Collinsworth's yard. When the neighbors went looking for Chloe, they found her riddled with bullets in Collinsworth's pond.  The dog had no history of aggression or causing damage to property.

When Collinsworth was interviewed by Caddo Parish Sheriff's deputies, he claimed that he didn't know exactly what he was shooting at, but that he thought it was an alligator. The deputies might have bought that story, except for the fact that Collinsworth shot the dog with a rifle that had a scope on it.

My neighbor loves her dog; I hear her playing fetch with it all the time on the other side of our backyard fence.  So, it barks a lot.  I'll get over it.




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