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SINCE the start of the pandemic’s quarantine and work-from-home directive more than a year ago, the problem of the neighbors’ dogs yelping and yapping their way right smack into our family’s supposed office work assignments and writing consciousness had persisted almost without let up. In all of our unsuccessful attempts to shield from this outside intrusion, we must have already worn down nearly a dozen headphones just between the three of us.

 While for myself, the incessant barking proves to be the only distraction to my writing, my two fellow housemates actually have it worse. Aside from their writing jobs, they too have to permanently contend with the noise whenever they’re in the middle of regular Zoom office meetings and webinars (that’s online seminars for you).

I know that throughout the whole duration of the quarantine, we have been made aware of the ill effects of this forced and prolonged isolation on everyone’s collective “nerves”. As such in our own way, we have made little DIY remedies, such as morning walks and exercise, food breaks and of course, lots of Netflix and HBO therapy at night after work. Somehow, we still feel these had not been enough and we often find ourselves envying those who’ve been daring to venture out and visit the outdoor places that still allowed visitors. Thinking about this plus the dog day afternoons has only made us stressed out the most.

However, the mum had theorized that if indeed, we were to choose only one stressor, then our neighbor’s noisy canines were definitely the main reasons for the slowly-rising mental fatigue and stress of her two boys especially. True, while our son and myself stressed over the daily bombardment, our reactions to these, varied as they (like slamming doors and sprinkling water on the fences), if not for anything else were in turn, the only cause why she ends up stressed as well. In other words, while we stressed over the dogs, she stressed over us stressing over the darn dogs!

Now, if it sounds like this short tale wouldn’t have a happy resolution, there’s a bit of silver lining up ahead. Recently, my mate had discovered a YouTube music video that had promised to pacify them, obnoxious creatures. (If I gave you the link, then I’d have to kill you.) Seriously, look for “Music for Dogs to Sleep.” It really sounds like those seemingly-endless playlist that they play in them Tan-Ton or Thai massage salons, complete with drone-like meditation loops that’s meant to soothe your angry and stressed self. 

We’ve tried the channel for at least for a week already and it has proven to be more than seventy percent effective. On several occasions, I admit that I have sneaked a peek at our windows to spy on the doggies and I’ve seen them appear quite sedate, with dumb faces appearing to say, “what’s going on man?” 

I still have to give this experiment (if you can call it such) a little more time, say a hundred days more. That way, I can state, like we used to do in our high school laboratory experiments, “I therefore conclude… that they’ve gotten quiet!” Truth of the matter is, it’s either that or we’ve merely hypnotized ourselves into believing that, because of our music, they’ve finally behaved at last.

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