GLORY, GLORY HALLELUJAH. FOR ZOE THE DOG HAS MOVED AWAY.
The apartment building I live in is shaped like a long U, and I live on the inward side, which means I can see a lot of other balconies from my balcony. Kind of like Rear Window. My desk sits next to the glass balcony doors, but even if it didn't, even if it was anywhere else in my apartment, I still would have been able to hear Zoe and her owner all day, every day.
Zoe is a little Bichon-type white fluffy dog, and until this past weekend, Zoe resided with her owner in an apartment across from me and over one. And Zoe barked incessantly. If Zoe's owner was on her balcony, Zoe was with her, and if Zoe was with her, Zoe was barking. And Zoe's owner was on the balcony nearly all day, from 8 or 9 AM until 2 or 3 PM. A lumpy woman with bad taste in pajama pants and (in the afternoon, once she got dressed) makeup thick enough for me to see her eyeliner from my desk, she sat out there and chain-smoked and talked on the phone, alternating between Spanish and English, for hours on end. I still have no idea what she was on about, nor how, if this eternal talking was somehow part of her work, her clients/boss/whoever put up with the sound of a dog barking nonfuckingstop in the background. Her balcony was too far away for me to understand what she was saying. But it was not too far away to hear Zoe.
I could think of nothing that would stop this. Even if the management office could be arsed to deal with such a thing, what would they do? You can talk about nuisance codes and whatnot, but I knew I was pretty much stuck with Zoe via official channels.
I thought about leaving a note at Zoe's door with cut-up magazine letters: STOP THE BARKING OR THE DOG GETS IT. But how would I follow through? I also thought of leaving a $75 gift card to PetSmart at the door, with an anonymous note saying BUY A DAMN BARK COLLAR ALREADY. If I thought she'd've taken my suggestion, I would gladly have spent the money. But I know there are people who object to debatably cruel measures to keep incredibly poorly trained animals from irritating everyone in the vicinity. Perhaps this particular woman was one of them.
In recent months, Zoe's owner had started trying to curb the barking (I guess?) by snapping "Zoe!" after every bark. Like so: *bark* "Zoe!" *bark bark* "Zoe! Ssh!" *bark* "Zoe!" *bark bark* "Zoe, stop!" Needless to say, this did not work. It just meant I learned Zoe's name.
Last weekend, I was going up the stairs next to my apartment, which gives me a more straight-on view into Zoe's apartment, and I saw that the decorative wall sconce at the back of the dining room had been taken down. Large packing boxes were open in there.
Oh, be still my heart.
I did not dare to hope.
But on Monday, the white plastic lawn chairs and the little table with the cactus on it had been removed from Zoe's balcony. Inside, the blinds were open and the lights were off.
And all this week? No Zoe. No "Zoe!" No talking woman with her two cell phones and unfathomable schedule. NO BARKING.
Oh, the blessed silence.
Like I said, GLORY, GLORY HALLELUJAH.