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Section Four of a four-part article:
Why Exposure to Chronic Barking is So Extremely Harmful

Sleep In the Realm of the Irresponsible Dog Owner

Having a barking dog nearby turns your life on its head, especially when it comes to sleep. For most people, sleeping is the easiest thing they do all day, but when you must sandwich your rest between outbursts from a barking dog, the nocturnal hours become a dreaded ordeal. In the land of abusive barking, you go to bed tense and you wake up tired.

You may spend eight hours in bed and still only get three hours sleep. You may lie there most of the night, watching the clock tick your life away, waiting for the dog to stop.

If he barks three times you'll wake up three times. If he barks ten times you'll wake up ten times. He if barks continuously you won't get any sleep at all. You can waste hours in a single day just getting up and lying down as you try to work a nap or a night's sleep around a barking dog. Those are wasted hours in which you don't have any fun. You don't get any work done. You don't get any sleep. You don't get relaxed. You don't learn anything. That time is stolen from you, and it's gone forever.

It's really maddening when you consider that the dog's owner could bark train the beast with a mere ninety minutes worth of effort, which is a fraction of the amount of sleep you may be losing in a single night.

If You Have A Toddler

If you have a toddler who wakes up easily and is difficult to get back to sleep, and your neighbor has a barking dog -- just kill yourself. Get it over with.

Work In the Universe of the Crowing Canine

As the commutes get longer and the computer technology gets better, there is a definite trend toward people working at home. Every year there are more of us doing it. All you need is a telephone, a computer, and a quiet place to hunker down.

When you work in a quiet house, you can think deeply and become absorbed in a state of sustained concentration. Just as important, you can plan your activities, which lets you work very efficiently. But you can kiss all that goodbye the day your neighbor decides he's too broke to buy an electronic collar for his dog, and too busy to train his new companion.

Trying to arrange your work around a barking dog is pretty much like trying to sandwich your sleep in between episodes of barking. Scheduling your time becomes impossible. When the dog is quiet you work, when he sounds off you take a break. If he barks all day, you don't get any work done and you don't make any money.

Relaxation in the Zone of Barking

There is no relaxation in a zone of barking.

Sex in the Land of the Howling Hound

Not unless you find it arousing to make love in a kennel.

Illness Within Range of a Superbarker

For many illnesses, the keys to recovery are rest, relaxation and sleep, none of which are possible in close proximity to a barking dog. So, for many, the course their illness follows is determined by the behavior of the neighboring canine.

Too much barking will make you sick as a dog. That's something the authorities need to keep in mind as the population ages, hospital rates rise, and there are ever more ill, elderly people lying in their beds, much too sick to organize the neighborhood for a legal action against the dog's guardian.

A Cur's Diminishment of Adaptive Capacity

A person's resilience can, perhaps, be best defined as their potential to regain their equilibrium following the introduction of a stressor. Therefore, the more resilient you are, the more readily you will be able to bounce back and regain your composure after something goes wrong. All of us have a certain capacity for adapting to stressful events with equanimity, but our capacity to adapt is not limitless. Anything that draws down your capacity leaves you less able to cope when additional events further tax your reservoir of resilience. Let's look at this phenomenon in real-life terms and then relate it to chronic barking situations.

If someone is extremely rude to you, will you become upset by it? Well, that depends. If everything is going great and nothing is bothering you to begin with, then you will probably be able to easily maintain your equilibrium when someone behaves provocatively. On the other hand, if someone is rude to you and you haven't had enough sleep, you are more likely come unglued than you would be if you'd had plenty of rest. If, in addition to not having enough sleep, you are also hungry, then you are more likely yet to be unhinged by a stressful situation, such as someone being rude. If you are under-slept and hungry and in pain, the odds are still greater that you will cope poorly with stress. If you are under-slept, hungry, in pain, your shoes are too tight and the room is hot and noisy, the odds are ever greater that you will be thrown into disequilibrium when something goes wrong.

The point is that anything that injures you, drains you, distracts you, impairs your functioning or keeps you from getting your needs met, will render you less able to cope with life's events. The more of these sorts of negatives you are exposed to, the less well you will be able to roll with the punches, because your capacity to do so is diminished by their presence. If adaptive negatives are in your environment in substantial numbers, you will be overwhelmed by them.

Therefore, any deficits you have, in combination with any stressors you encounter, will impact your potential to maintain equanimity as you deal with the problems and challenges of everyday life.

Maybe you suffer from chronic pain or depression or anxiety or some other similarly distressing condition. You may have noticed that your condition fluctuates, sometimes getting better and sometimes getting worse. If you start to watch for it, you will probably find that your symptoms either improve or deteriorate, depending on your level of resilience.

Since resilience is a reflection of your level of adaptive capacity, you can minimize your symptoms and maximize your level of functioning by keeping your adaptive capacity as high as possible. The best way to do that is to make sure you eat well and get enough rest, have enough fun and get enough sleep. Also, take care to remove from your environment those stressors that sap your potential to adapt.

Exposure to barking reduces your adaptive capacity by interfering with your sleep, rest and relaxation while simultaneously serving as a stressor that draws down your reservoir of resilience. Because barking saps your adaptive capacity, you may well find that the symptoms of the ailment from which you suffer are much worse in an environment where you are exposed to frequent barking. Anyone who has ever had to live near a hyperverbose canine can tell you there is no situation so bad that it cannot be made worse by the presence of a barking dog. In fact, it is safe to say that any distressing event will be more traumatic when experienced in the vicinity of a barking dog and any potentially enjoyable event will be less enjoyed.

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This page is part of the Failed System section of New Animal Control.Org