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I have new next door neighbors, and they are complaining about my dog barking in the backyard. I am very mindful and try to bring the dog in as soon as I hear her bark, but sometimes it takes me a couple of minutes. My dog is not a constant yapper, mind you. She just starts to bark if she sees a squirrel in the tree, and then she stops. I understand the sound can be annoying, especially to a non-dog owner, but on the other hand, they just moved to a suburban neighborhood where people own dogs.
It’s Always Barkest Before the Dawn
As a dog owner, I’m eye-rolling right along with you. As a lover of the quiet, however, I can see where they may be frustrated. But I think you could go over there, brownies in hand (I stock up when they are a buck a box), and ask them to give you and your pooch a grace period of five minutes before getting hot under the collar. Squirrel chases can’t last longer than that.
If your dog continues barking for more than five minutes, I think it’s reasonable to bring her in and let her out in another half hour. Might they even have a few kids old enough to walk the dog on the weekend? Nothing will ingratiate the neighbors to the dog like their kids falling in love with her. That is what we call a win-win.
I like to play sports for the camaraderie and the workout, but now the college team I’m on (it’s a no-cut sport) is getting really good and I’m really not. I’m a little paranoid and don’t wanna be a burden. Also, I’m not sure if I can keep up.
Running on Empty
The good news about college sports, cut or no-cut, is that the coaches have to make all the tough decisions, leaving you to just plain do your best. And that is really all that’s required of you. Your coach will figure out if you are ready to be part of the competition team and if so, great! If not, great!
You cannot be a “burden” in a no-cut sport. As for keeping up, talk to the coach and ask them what they suggest to up your game, both literally and figuratively.
Communication is the key here since in its absence we tend to fill in the blanks with catastrophic thinking. Good luck!
I took my Junior year of college off because of COVID-19. As a result, I am a year behind all my friends who just graduated. I think that taking the year off (I worked and lived at home) was the right decision for me. But it’s sad watching everyone head off in different directions, knowing we won’t ever be together in the same way again.
A Little Behind
Dear A Little Behind,
That’s okay! I totally understand why you feel sad! I cry at insurance commercials. Embrace it, bathe in it, open your arms to this sadness and let it hang out with you as long as need be. In this country, we associate sadness with something being wrong. But that’s not necessarily true. Strong emotions are not problems, they are information. If you didn’t feel sad watching all your friends leave, that may be a problem!
I’m happy to hear that you are an empathetic, compassionate person who feels deeply attached to your friends. The good news is that there is something that I believe you young people call Social Media, in which you can keep in touch 48 hours a day.
So go text, gif, click, like, friend, and tweet with abandon. It may not be the same as waking up to find all your furniture out on the quad but you can get back at them for that at the reunion.
Dear Gabby appears in the RoundTable every Monday. Yes, Gabby is an advice columnist – but not just any advice columnist. Because that would be boring! Gabby combines wisdom with wit. And a pinch of snark. She is not a trained therapist by any means, but has seen and loved many in her day. Her aim is to make you think while she makes you laugh. Gabby welcomes all questions and queries and is only too happy to hear your opinion, no matter how much it may diverge from hers. Write to Gabby at firstname.lastname@example.org.