Well, scared again. Anxiety sucks. This time, the trigger was a note from my neighbor, complaining about the dog barking. Yes, she was left alone for two hours last night, but I checked in on her every half hour, all was quiet. And then I came home to a note taped to my door. "Your dog has been barking continuosly for several hours, eight til ten. Guess it means that she cannot be left alone? The dog care services should be contacted, just like child care services? Neighbor XXX". 

I know the dog was not home between eight and ten, but nevertheless. I know that she has not been left alone at home for several months, but obviously I cannot even train her (to be alone) without getting kicked out of the apartment. I am seriously distressed. What should I do? I feel stupid to take in a rehomed dog now. I love her, but she cannot keep controlling my life as she does, when I cannot leave her alone at home, even for fifteen minutes to get groceries. 

I feel very angry with myself, and the dog, and the neighbor. And, of course, anxiety comes back at once when I get messages like this. Really, really bad. I have not dared leave the apartment today, just let the dog out into the garden for five minutes while watching her. I know I will not leave the apartment until it’s dark (luckily, sun sets about 4 pm here now), the curtains are drawn, I’m just sitting here, feeling scared, a tight knot in my chest, shaking, feeling sick to my stomach, tears streaming. 

I have no idea how to cope with this, so I just sit here, feeling terrible, the same thoughts churning in my mind, telling me again and again that I’m in the wrong, that it’s all my fault, that I’m to blame for everything that’s not completely perfect. Awful thoughts, but somehow it makes sense to me, it’s right that I should feel shame and be sorry for all the wrong, bad, awful things I’ve done. And I feel even more stupid for feeling this way, because some part of me tells me that that’s not right either… 

  1. WadeAlexander72 14 years ago

    Well, it sounds like you have a right asshole neighbor for one. One of "those". I live in an apartment building with a big group of "those" and I”ve had a few moments with them.

    Does your dog bark like this when you are home as well or only when you”re away? If it”s when you”re gone she probably has some sort of seperation anxiety.

    I do know some dogs bark for attention – she barks to get you to notice her and one trick is to not acknowledge her when she does bark (like "Tammy stop barking!!!", etc…) because if you do you are "rewarding" her behavior. She has to be re-trained. If she”s a rescue dog, god only knows what she went through before you got her. I had a rescue dog before and you are dealing with stuff he/she went through as a pup growing up.

    You may have to bring her for training. The will probably do the trick right there.

    As for the neighbor, ignore them as much as you can. They sound like holier-than-thou busybodies. They”d probably complain about something else if they could.



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  2. marriahh 14 years ago

    Thank you, guys 

    Yes, the dog suffers from separation anxiety…  She only ever barks when she”s left alone. I”ve gotten a few tips on how to get back at the neighbor (like standing outside her window, just staring in, preferably naked, in the rain…), but I”m not going to do anything like that. I”ll just have to try to ignore her, and to not leave the dog alone, barking… I”ve had neighbors like the one here before, too, and reacting to their complaints just makes it worse. 

    The dog was rescued from a cruel home about a year ago, her collar had grown into her skin, her tail is probably cropped by someone there… She has come a long way, stopped being scared of men and feet, and regained trust in people. So I know I”ve done a good job… But, not good enough 

    A bit of my depression and anxiety comes from a need to do everything perfect (long story…), and when someone points out that things are not perfect, I break down and feel really bad, ashamed and guilty. I know it”s not "the right way to think", but for me it makes sense. Good that some people make sure the therapists have jobs tomorrow as well, isn”t it? 

    Once again, thank you, it”s always good to know that someone knows how it feels, can comfort and remind me that this too shall pass. 


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