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"Last night, I came home to find a hastily handwritten anonymous note in my mailbox."

Inner city living can be noisy and annoying. Everyone is living in very close proximity and you can hear literally everything. One of my neighbours had a nasty sounding chest infection at some point last year and I was tempted to text in the middle of the night and suggest he see a doctor.

I accept the noise as one of the sacrifices we make to live in the city. But many… do not. Last night, we came home after going out to dinner to celebrate my husband’s birthday to find a hastily handwritten note in our mailbox.

“When you go out your dog barks continuously – it is extremely frustrating and annoying.”

I can see how that would be very frustrating and annoying and I’m glad they told us so we can work to rectify the situation (to clarify, the dog is locked inside, not outside). But what I find really frustrating and annoying is that the note was simply signed “neighbour”.

Which one? We have generally great relationships with most of our neighbours, always say “hi” and we’re friendly, if a bit noisy. Some of them we’re great friends with. Now, I feel awkward and suspicious of them all, not knowing which one felt that they couldn’t talk to us or identify themselves so we could chat to them about it.

Side note – the most popular dog names of 2018 are here. Post continues below…


If I knew who they were, firstly I’d be able to go and apologise to them for the nuisance. There are other barking dogs in the neighbourhood, and I know how irritating it is when you have no control of the situation.

I’d be able to explain that our elderly little dog is starting to go deaf and is often confused and suffers from severe separation anxiety.

I’d tell them that I used to take him everywhere with me to prevent him getting worked up at home alone, but in the Brisbane summer heat and at his advanced age, it’s no longer an option.

I’d explain that we are working with our vet to figure out a way to get him to calm down and stop barking while we’re out and that we’ve tried several options. This includes anxiety medication, crate training and thunder-shirts. We’re even considering getting another dog in the hopes that a companion would calm him down (although we’re trying to work out whether fighting dogs with more dogs is akin to fighting gun violence with more guns…)

Now that we’re aware it’s bothering people, we’ll certainly ramp up our efforts to put a stop to it. But given there’s no overnight solution (bar getting rid of the dog) and we do have to leave the house at times, it may look to them like we’re ignoring them.

Without the cowardly anonymous sign off, we’d be able to discuss the measures we’re taking to rectify the problem like reasonable human beings, keen to keep the peace in the neighbourhood.

Meanwhile, we’ll go back to the fun of speculating as to which neighbour we think it was. It’s like a game of Cluedo you can never win.

How do you feel about anonymous notes? Tell us in the comments section below.

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