Tuesday, January 17, 2012

158th Week Update - Miles Neighborhood Food Collection Project

Hi Folks,

It’s Never Good to Bark at Your Neighbors

Adam (left) thinks that if people have an internet, then
why can’t dogs have a barknet. Outside is his Starbucks
café where he can’t wait to connect with all of his doggy
buddies in the neighborhood.
The alley was a bit of a mess following the Brush and Bulky pickup earlier in the week. After my stint at the Rincon Market on Saturday I decided to rake it back into presentable again. Adam, my 9-year-old Westie wasn’t happy with the scraping sounds and a cat or two that sauntered by. So he barked and barked some more.

Every few minutes I checked on him to quiet him down. But then he’d start up again. I finished my raking in about 45 minutes and walked back into the house. It was then that I noticed the ground was wet and my artwork table under the canopy was covered with big droplets of water. I checked my pups and felt water on Molly’s back but nothing on Adam. (That's the way it always is. Adam starts something and poor Molly takes the brunt.)

My first thought was the garden hose next to the gate ruptured again. Nope. That wasn’t it. Then the slow dawning… Oooh, my new neighbors, Melissa and Sean in the big house, sprayed water over my fence to quiet the barking. The wet artwork disturbed me but the attack on my pups was infuriating. Somebody accosted my dogs when I was just 50 feet down the alley.

An ultrasonic biofeedback
device that turns barks into
sounds only dogs can hear.
I flipped the water off the two posters I had recently printed and calmed my self down. In about three minutes I had a plan.

Melissa answered the front door and I apologized for Adam’s barking. I knew that was the reason for the sun shower because she had yelled at Adam from inside her home months earlier when he was particularly noisy.

Melissa said that Sean was trying to take a nap and Adam was thwarting his efforts. I love naps myself so I understood but suggested next time instead of spraying water and ruining a couple of Rincon Market / Community Food Bank posters, she should call my cell which I always carry. I gave her my card and said I want to make her life here as comfortable as possible. Actually, I thought that would be the end of it.

Sunday morning just before I started my rounds, I check the mailbox. Inside was a Bark Off package with a green note card envelope taped to it. When I opened the envelope and took out the card, inside was a $50 check and a note.

“Thank you for giving me your card today,” Melissa wrote. “Please find enclosed a donation to your “One Can A Week” program. I hope it helps replace any water damaged posters. P.S. Perhaps this (Bark Off) would be another non-invasive way to hush the repetitive barking from your dogs? If you are willing, we could give it a try.”

I had that Bark Off up and running a few minutes after I stopped for lunch. It will take a week or so for the ultrasonic sound to affect Adam, as the package insert warned, but in this case, whether the product works or not, it’s the thought that really counts.

There was a situation. The people involved decided not to bark at one another and instead put aside emotions to consider each other’s concerns. This is my kind of world.

Ready to Hit the Books
A number of students just got back from vacation so we collected a whole bunch more food this week. And the good news is they well be here until late May.

We collected a total of 194 lbs. of food. The money we donated amounted to $76.75, two checks for $75.00 and $1.75 in cash.

See you Sunday,


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