Paradise lost

Neighbour’s complaint spoils pleasant relocation to Maple Bay


We moved to the Cowichan Valley from the lower Mainland a little over 3 years ago. We are fortunate to have found a little slice of paradise in “The Properties of Maple Bay”. Our new neighbours have been very friendly and welcoming. We have made some good friends since our move here.

We were surprised when we recently found a notice on our door from Animal Control Services: a complaint about our dogs’ barking. I spoke with the officer who issued the warning; the complaint was made anonymously by one of our neighbours. Apparently, the complainant stated the barking was “ongoing” as well as occurring prior to 6 a.m. and after 10 p.m. I suppose exaggeration helps to buttress one’s position. Our dogs are rarely outside before 8 a.m. in the morning or after 10 in the evening.

My husband and I are reasonable people and dedicated responsible pet owners. It’s extremely disappointing that someone chose to make an anonymous complaint to the authorities rather than have a conversation with us.

Our home is located on the side of a mountain, a setting which amplifies any sound. There are at least eight homes (including ours) in our immediate area that have dogs. We noted that while other dogs were included in the complaint, the individual was unable to provide any other addresses to the officer, only ours. Unfortunately, we were targeted through their lack of due diligence. Our dogs are not the only culprits; when one starts barking, they often all join in to the “barkfest”. We try our best to curtail our dog’s barking when it happens as we find it annoying at times too but… they are dogs and dogs bark!

Our hope is that neighbours who may have issues, whether about dogs or other concerns, are willing to foster good communications in their neighbourhoods by approaching reasonable people such as ourselves.

Cheryl Watson


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