The problem: I sometimes work at home, and I have a dog. On several occasions, one of my neighbors has walked by with her dog and cut across my lawn close to my living room window, which causes my dog to go completely crazy barking. This makes it really hard for me to talk on my conference calls. I have no idea why she’s doing it.
Low road: Put up a “No Trespassing” sign with a picture of her pooch wearing black-and-white stripes.
High road: Your neighbor either is trying to increase her Fitbit count or test the waters for a future doggy play date. Or, maybe she’s simply directionally challenged.
Despite her social missteps, it is possible that she doesn’t know that you are home, nor that you are trying to do important business by phone. So, say something, but try not to bark.
Maybe, “You’re such a good mom to Bowser, taking him for regular walks. I’m sure you don’t know that I often work from home, and when our dogs get to barking at each other, my conversations with my clients come to an unfortunate and abrupt halt. So let’s find a good time for the two of them to run around together after work hours.”
If she still doesn’t get the hint, you’ll just have to close your curtains while doing business.
Send questions about life’s little quandaries to firstname.lastname@example.org. Read more of Gail’s “High Road” columns at startribune.com/highroad