Awfully Loud Neighbor Animals -- What to do?
A decade ago our family moved into a nice neighborhood with a lot of retirees; I work from home need quiet to write and conduct phone interviews. A couple of years ago, the next-door neighbors put a pool in on our property line and proceeded to play loud music a lot. Then they moved away but turned it into a 24/7 Air B n' B with frequent loud parties, nudity, drug use, etc. After 18 hellish months, it finally sold. The new neighbors are more considerate but have three dogs and a set of chickens...one of which grew into a very vocal rooster. This summer we also got new neighbors behind us with dogs. The two sets of neighboring canines now have barking competitions several times a day. The Air B n' B we absolutely had to fight for the sake of our 9-year-old son whose bedroom window overlooked the chaos. No matter how kind, thoughtful, and reasonable we tried to be, it escalated into the owner threatening us with a lawsuit for "hurting his business." (We are in an area zoned strictly residential.) Laws and codes were on our side, but an expensive and long legal battle loomed over us until he sold. We had such a bad experience that we're afraid of starting over with requests for quiet even when the city codes clearly outlaw roosters and perpetual barking. Conflict with a neighbor is just so painful that I went the anonymous route, sending a card welcoming the folks to the area but politely letting them know their dogs were a problem. Nothing changed. I don't know much about dogs, although I do like them when they aren't causing problems. What effective words can I use to let these people know that we don't dislike their dogs and want to be good neighbors yet need them to do better? What is reasonable to expect noise-wise from dogs? (The two behind us are the biggest problem and are left alone outside in the fenced backyard all day. They don't seem to be any particular breed--one medium-sized and one rather large.) Is there a way I might get the two dogs to like and trust me so that I could calm them myself when the neighbors are gone? And, finally, are there any sorts of meditations or mental strategies for tuning out noise you can't stop? (Closed windows, playing music, white noise, and other measures only help so much.) Thanks for any advice.