My neighbor’s dog barks early and loud

Dear Labby,

My next-door neighbor has a Terrier who barks periodically throughout the day. I don’t mind for the most part, as I know that’s what dogs do. The only time it’s a problem is first thing in the morning. At about a quarter to six every day, Jigsaw goes to the backyard and barks for two or three minutes. Not a long time and I don’t want to disrupt a very good relationship between my neighbor and me. But, I’m not ready to get up at 5:45, and I have a tough time falling back to sleep after the noise. What should I do?


A Loquacious Airedale Rouses Me in the Early Dawn

Dear A Loquacious Airedale Rouses Me in the Early Dawn:

We had a similar situation in our neighborhood a few years ago. Whenever the Petersons’ Beagle would start howling, the Baxter twins would take to the garage for drum practice. That led Old Man Schmidt to yell obscenities from his attic window, causing the O’Sullivans to crank the radio. Soon the whole zip code was embroiled in a nasty round of ear-splitting one-up-manship.

Skip the anonymous notes in the mailbox, A.L.A.R.M.E.D. — a visit is the way to go. As a good-will gesture, I’d show up with a little bag of dog treats and the most conciliatory knock on the door I could muster. And then be honest(ish):

“It’s so lovely to have you as a neighbor that I hate to even bring this up, but is there any chance you could keep Jigsaw indoors until closer to seven o’clock? I know he’s only saying good morning, it’s just that I treasure every minute of sleep I can find, what with being so busy caring for my elderly aunt these days…”

If that doesn’t work, perhaps it’s time to enroll in those accordion lessons you’ve always wanted to take.