Every day I try to resign myself to little things that bother me, but that don't actually matter.
The old idea is that you can either blanket the entire Earth in leather so that you don't hurt your feet, or just tie the leather to your feet and walk on the Earth as it is, unharmed.
My neighbors are here to directly challenge that peace of mind.
They have this dog that is just completely miserable.
It's a big dog with a high-pitched, very sharp bark and a long, even sharper whine that always follows.
And it will stand outside and do this every one and a half minutes on the dot for however long my neighbors decide to leave it outside chained to a tree.
After about 10 minutes of outside time, this dog will stand facing its owners' back door and will sing us the song of its people.
Could be 30 minutes, or could be three hours.
On Saturdays and Sundays, it goes out at about 9 a.m. That's when earplugs go in.
If it's a nice day, the dog will be outside for most of it, and it will loathe every minute, and so will I.
I've struggled with what to do about it for about a year. I left a note once asking for the sake of my four-year-old roommate that they put the dog out after 9 a.m. and up before 9 p.m. to accommodate his sleeping schedule. That didn't work.
Several times, when it gets to be past 10 p.m., I've just knocked on the door and asked that the dog be put up so we can get some sleep.
Every time I knock on the door, my neighbors answer and are nice and apologetic, but act surprised by my request as if it were the first time they've learned that their dog stands feet from both of our houses and bark-whines for hours in one and a half minute intervals.
I have gotten a lot better at accommodating my four-legged neighbor.
Earplugs, fans, Netflix for background noise, and sometimes it has actually encouraged me to leave the house and get something done.
My neighbors seem to be accommodating me as well. The dog doesn't go out at 8 a.m., and it's rarely out at 11 p.m. anymore.
I have so far refrained from asking someone in uniform to gently remind them of the city's noise violation code.
There's probably something I'm doing that my neighbors don't appreciate.
Our properties are so close that we share their driveway. I've never asked them what they think about that.
I wonder if they're keen on my tendency to leave the recycling and trash bins at the end of the driveway for a few days.
Probably not, so who am I to begin a neighbor feud?
It's best to learn to live together in this world.