Try to let sleeping dogs lie

Dear Maggie,

My neighbor’s dog barks all night long, every single night of the week. I’ve phoned and asked repeatedly for them to address the problem but I just can’t get them to respond. I hate to involve the police, but I need my sleep and I think I have a right to some peace and quiet. Please tell me what to do.

Signed,

Sleepless

Dear Sleepless,

Well, you could call the police, which is the same thing as putting more of your attention on the barking dog. Now it’s not just occupying your mind all night, but during the day too. And by focusing on the problem, you’re going to draw a dozen more just like it right to your doorstep. Never fails.



You must stop focusing on the problem.

Focus on what you want. Peaceful, quiet nights. Then go about doing the things that are within your control to do, to give yourself what you want. Peaceful, quiet nights. Get a CD with nature sounds that you can play at night. Get a set of those noise cancelling headphones that block out external sound. Put a fountain in your bedroom. Get heavier drapes. Buy some earplugs. Switch to a bedroom on the other side of the house. Plant evergreen trees between your house and theirs. Or move.

Meanwhile, you might want to make friends with your neighbors. You’d have more luck getting them to quiet the dog—might even find that they’re as frustrated by it as you are, and are at their wit’s end as to how to solve the problem. Who knows?

But if you do this, focus on peace and quiet and just forget about the dog, the problem is going to do away. Guarantee. The less you think about it or even notice it, the faster it will disappear. Give it a try and let me know how it works for you!

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