By Martha Jo Tisdale

It was the middle of the night and I had just fallen asleep after more than an hour of listening to the barking dog across my back fence. No amount of yelling “shut up, you mangy mutt” did any good. Tossing and turning and with a bit of mulling, I finally thought of an answer to ‘my barking dilemma’ so I tugged the blanket up around my shoulders and fell back to sleep.

I must have been so excited about getting to Target to see if I could find a recorder, that I left the house without my lunch. So many to choose from, but I decided on the least expensive one, for the first attempt anyway. Forgetting my lunch wasn’t a problem after all because it gave me time to get the recorder hooked up on the fence while the guy that liked that dog was at work. Oh, did I mention the dog was barking, as usual?

Back at work, my mind sure wasn’t on my job, but I was so keyed up that I worked quickly and accomplished more that afternoon than I usually did. Now that’ll be a new one to add to my job performance review when it comes up next month. I’m pretty sure no one else noticed; and I was so busy I didn’t even glance over to my boss’s desk!  I patted myself on the back — not really, just in my head — because I’d kept this little project to myself. That in itself is a surprise, because I had been so upset over this dang dog that I’d complained over coffee to several of the gals in my project. 

Just one quick stop at the store and I was on my way home, hopefully to get there before what’s his name  — dog abuser. I grabbed the recorder off the fence and dashed into the house, the door slamming behind me — and just in time or I’d have been caught red-handed! After checking the recorder, then setting it up, all I needed to do was sneak out the back door and put it into place! 

“If things work out like I’m hoping they will, I’ll be sleeping like a baby tonight!”  I reasoned as I fixed a cup of tea and sat down at the kitchen table, glancing out the window at the house behind my fence. I was pleased that the little recorder worked so well — truth be known, I was actually happy that that blankety blank dog did bark all afternoon! 

Don’t get me wrong, this is not a new problem for me. For months I have endured this un-neighbor-like punishment. I have complained to Darrell until I was blue in the face. No amount of threats have worked; calling the local police has done nothing more than to make me look like the bad neighbor. Other neighbors are older folks who simply take their hearing aids out and turn the volume up on their TV sets. Darrell even suggested that if I didn’t like it I could move! That was the last straw. . . .but payback is on its way. . .just as soon as the sun sets!