Dear Dr. R.V. Shrink:
I love dogs. Cats aren't bad either. But lately while camping I find I am having problems dealing with barking dogs. It might be my age. The noise never used to annoy me. Recently I was parked next to a couple who had two little barkers. They were quiet while the couple were in camp, but as soon as they left the dogs would begin to bark and not stop until they returned. Thinking they didn't realize that the dogs barked while they were gone, I mentioned it to them. They jumped right down my throat in defense of their pets and refused to believe that the dogs would bark that much. I just moved on. It is one of the things I like about RV living, I can vote with my wheels. I thought I handled this situation very diplomatically but as it turned out they took my information as an assault. Should I just keep my mouth shut and move on or handle these situations differently?
--Barking up the wrong tree in Tallahassee
If you have read enough of my blog, you already know I too have a problem keeping my mouth shut. I know many people feel that the campground host or other authority should be the one to deal with these problems. Oftentimes, that is not an option. Perhaps the manager is not comfortable with a confrontation, there is absentee campground management, or a host of other reasons. (Pun intended). Sometimes it gives the grievance more weight than you feel it needs by involving some official action and you think a friendly conversation could solve the situation more easily. You will find there are different folks with different strokes. You just happened onto combative with a combative attitude to your pet peeve. In most cases, if handled in a polite manner, you would have received an apology. Most times a dog's bark is worse than his owner's bite, but obviously not in your case. Better luck next time. Remember, 99.9% of campground neighbors you deal with will be the total opposite of those you have dealt with in this instance.
--Keep Smilin', Dr. R.V. Shrink