Foxy Only Barks at Passive-Aggressive Behavior

This is our rescue dog, Foxy:


When we adopted her from an animal shelter in September she was nearly hairless from malnutrition and living on the street, and so starved you could see every bone in her body. The vet says someone tried to breed her but non of her pups lived long enough to nurse. The vet is pretty sure there was a human involved, and the person who had her must have kept her in a small kennel before tossing her out, because her teeth are broken in a way that suggests she chewed on chain-fence wire and she has behaviors indicative of harsh kenneling. She didn’t know what grass was when we got her, and went poo on the patio because she was scared of the green soft stuff in the yard. She didn’t know how to walk on a leash, play with other dogs, play with us, be held, what petting was, or even how to bark. 

Now, she has all her fur, is getting a little fat, can walk a leash like a champ, plays with kids and dogs, knows how to cuddle, and how to bark to be let outside to poo on the grass. She’s also learned how to bark with the other dogs at things-that-should-be-barked-at. These things include other dogs walking along the sidewalk and the sound of distant dogs barking in their back yards.

She loves to go outside, and since we work from home we let her out between 9:00 AM and 4:00PM whenever she wants. After 4:00 she is wherever the girls are, because she loves them, her humans. When she is outside in the back yard, she will bark if she sees someone, is chasing a squirrel, or hears the siren song of another dog barking.

This has apparently irked some sly, furtive twit near us because she snuck the following passive-aggressive note in our mailbox:

Crazy Letter - Side 1

  It says, “Dear Neighbors, It’s a beautiful spring day; what  pleasure to be able to open the windows & enjoy the fresh air. EXCEPT your dog is outside, barking, AGAIN.Do you remember Easter March 27? It was one of the first nice days. We had a family event planned for on our deck. Your dog barked. And barked. And barked. Is this the way it’s going to be as long as you live here? We hope not, but it’s up to you. For far longer than you have lived here, people don’t let their doges remain outside barking. This has always been a quiet neighborhood, but that has changed with one dog. Yours, Many of us have & love dogs, but we also love our quiet neighborhood. Bring your dog in, and then go outside; you won’t hear any other dogs. Just yours. All the time. Please consider the effect this is having on your neighbors. We all want to get along, and enjoy our homes. You can help all of us by considering everyone’s peace & quiet. Thanks in advance All of your neighbors”

Leaving aside the poor grammar and excessive use of semicolons for now, boy howdy is this passive-aggressive. This asshat could TEACH passive-aggressive at Harvard. But wait! There is MORE passive-aggression on the back of the note! Behold!

Crazy Letter - Side 2

Yes, she included a map of our neighborhood determining where people could hear our dog in her opinion. She took the time out of her life to do that. This indicates that her passive-aggression is beyond the norm and that she needs a hobby, stat.

If she had dropped by the house saying, “Your new dog has a very loud yappy bark and I find it disruptive during the day” then she would have gotten an apology and my sincere efforts to keep Foxy from barking when she went outside … even if it meant taking time out of my work to go out with her every time. However, the snarky missive she hid in our mailbox (a federal crime, BTW) is such an over-the-top overstatement and hateful whinge that I cannot take her complaint seriously or give even a tiny poo what she wants.

Her unhinged rant singling out Foxy is so unanchored to reality it is almost funny. Let me list her crazy delusions:

1) I do remember Easter. The dogs were inside most of the day because we had made sure the lawn was ‘bomb’ free the night before in expectation of the Easter Egg hunt I was hosting. When Foxy did go outside I am sure she and the other dogs barked. That’s kind of what dog’s do when it is a sunny day and they are running around with kids in their own yard and/or they detect movement on the other side of the fence.

2) There is a for-sale sign in our front yard. This nutjob knows we are moving. She just wanted to get in a mean letter to make her small, shriveled soul feel better because my dog dared to bark at Easter four weeks ago.

3) The use of “we” is insane. I know most of my neighbors. They know me well enough, and have enough spine, to ask me to please do something about Foxy. The thing is, they all work out of the house and/or have dogs. Big dogs. Little dogs. Yappy, noisy dogs. Dogs happen in nice suburban neighborhoods. By “we” she means herself and whomever she can get to nod politely during her rants about this ONE dog out of many. 

4) We’ve lived here for almost a decade. We know very well that there are other dogs barking. I can hear one RIGHT now when I step outside. Wait, I now hear two. Both are far enough away to be faint, but they are clearly audible. If Foxy were out here with me, I’d bet she’d bark back. There are beagles/hounds across the street. They howl. Not at night, but during the day when they are allowed to frolic in their own backyards. There is a really big dog two houses over. His is a mighty “woof”. There are terriers a few house down from us. They are as yappy as Foxy. There is a terrier-mix near us who shrieks ‘kill kill kill’ in doggie if she sees people walking past. There are two chihuahuas not far from us who have the highest-pitched barks on the planet. This is a dog kind of neighborhood. My dog has not ‘changed’ diddly-squat vis-à-vis this neighborhood.

Furthermore, my dog is right now sleeping in a pile with the other two dogs on the couch. That is how they all spend the majority of their time. Yes, they do go out. Not at midnight. Not at 6:00 AM. During the working hours of the day. Foxy is not the only dog in the neighborhood who barks, and she is not barking “all the time”. I would go outside and videotape the other dogs barking in other yards, but I have a life and don’t have the time to do something that silly and/or petty to refute one woman without the personal integrity to confront the issue.

Passive-aggressive people do not want answers. They aren’t after conflict resolution. They want to inflict pain on those they think have ‘wronged’ them. She was annoyed by my dog’s bark, and she wanted to hurt my feelings in retaliation and to punish me for my ‘crime’ against her. She wanted to be mean, without any risk of confrontation.

I sneer at cowardice at the best of times, but passive-aggressive cowardice is one of the most sneer-worthy. It vexes me. I am now irked.

Inasmuch as she has made me very annoyed, I am doing something that a passive-aggressive person hates more than anything; exposing her behavior. I am calling her out on her actions and words. I am showing the entire internet an example of her handiwork.

If she ever finds out about this, she will be hurt and mortified. Those are the emotions she had hoped to elicit in me with an underhanded attack. How sad for her that I know too much psychology to fall for those tricks and believe people should face consequences for their bad actions.


2 thoughts on “Foxy Only Barks at Passive-Aggressive Behavior

  1. You go, Girl!

    I mean really. How much courage does it take to pick up the phone and say, “Hey, I’m trying to nap in my hammock, do you mind bringing in your dog for a couple of hours?”

    I hope whoever buys the house knows how to deal with p/a behavior!

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