Ask Arden Anything

Arden, starring in her one-woman production of Margaret Atwood’s The Handmaid’s Tale.

Dear Arden,

I recently moved into a new townhome. I have neighbors above me and on either side of me, and I can often hear noise coming from other units, which I mostly just try to ignore. Yesterday I was installing some shelves in my apartment and my neighbor came over immediately to complain about the noise. Then, while sweeping, my broom hit the baseboard and my neighbor pounded on the wall. I was so angry! I feel like I’m trying to be a good neighbor by acknowledging that the situation is less than perfect, but my neighbors are unreasonable.

What should I do?

Too-Near Townhomes

Dear TNT,

Dogs are pack animals and we’re used to living in close quarters the way you describe, but I can understand your neighbor’s frustration. My owner bought a crate for me to stay in while he’s at work when I was just a puppy, and I feel now that the crate is my little “home” in my owner’s home. I don’t like it when people move it or go in it or anything; it’s mine. Sometimes when people (or, let’s say, visiting cats, for example) go near it, I snap and bark. It’s not nice, but I can’t help it.

Maybe your neighbors are just being a little territorial. Dogs always know whose territory is whose because we pee on everything, and our pee has little markers in it that we understand. You might try peeing around your townhome to see if your neighbor picks up on your scent and gives you a little more leeway in terms of noise.

You might also try a good snap now and then. When you think your neighbor is being unreasonable, a growl or bark can put them back in their place. This is generally how I choose to deal with annoying cat-types in my own life.

Townhome living offers a lot of convenience, TNT, but you’ve definitely stumbled upon one of the downsides. I hope all goes well for you.


Arden answers your questions every Friday here at Kinemapoetics. Submit your question by emailing chasjens ATyahooDOTcom with the subject line “Ask Arden Anything.”

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