Dog War

Gavin Polone & Lacy

Gavin Polone & Lacy

I am convinced that basically dogs think humans are nuts. – John Steinbeck

Saturdays Gavin Polone and I walk our dogs and talk about things that matter to us most: kids, significant others and dogs. But not necessarily in that order.

Since a Beverly Hills Police Officer rang Gavin’s doorbell at 8am to investigate a complaint of excessive barking, naturally the talk turned to dogs.

police cruiser

No person shall keep or maintain, or permit the keeping of, upon any premises owned, occupied, or controlled by such person, any dog or other animal or fowl otherwise permitted to be kept which, by any loud or continuous cry, bark, howl, or other sound, unreasonably disturbs other persons. (Ord. 11-O-2613, eff. 10-31-2011)

Gavin’s mutt Lacy is medium-sized and energetic, with a smooth black coat and build reminiscent of a seal. While she may whine when she gets excited, I’ve never heard her bark.

It’s curious that Gavin’s neighbor did. As Gavin explained to the police officer, his home is in a part of Beverly Hills surrounded by trees and wildlife and if left outdoors for any length of time, Lacy would become a coyote’s lunch. While inside, any barking would be inaudible to anyone outside. Seems whoever complained about Lacy either has bionic ears or an axe to grind.  In any case, the police officer didn’t find Lacy a problem so he left.

BH City Attorney, Laurence S. Wiener (photo courtesy

BH City Attorney, Laurence S. Wiener (photo courtesy

Gavin believed that was the end of the complaint on canine cacophony until a letter arrived from Beverly Hills City attorney Laurence Wiener requesting that Gavin appear at City Hall to discuss the matter. Gavin wrote back that there was “no chance” of him coming in and that his dog is not a loud nor frequent barker. If the city pursued it, Gavin announced, he would “seek any and all remedies to protect his rights as a homeowner.”

“Cool,” I said when he told me about the dog wars. “Who made the complaint?”

He’s not sure…..yet.

Maybe it’s because Gavin is used to directing television for maximum drama. Or maybe it’s because I have grown so fond of Lacy. In any case, I can’t wait to find out what happens next. Stay tuned.




Author Description

Cynthia Baseman

Cynthia Baseman is the author of 'Love, Mom: A Mother's Journey from Loss to Hope.' She writes about motherhood, the environment and education.

There are 9 comments. Add yours

  1. 10th June 2013 | Lesley says: Reply
    He should look into getting some chickens. That will give his dog something to bark about. Fresh eggs! Yum!
    • 10th June 2013 | Cynthia Baseman says: Reply
      I know, right? The city code looks like it's kosher to have chickens. Quiet chickens. Get out the frying pan. I love eggs.
  2. 10th June 2013 | Diana Ferguson says: Reply
    I can't wait to hear what happens either.
  3. 9th June 2013 | Mike says: Reply
    Sounds like BH. I am surprised there aren't any ordinances about birds singing before 8 AM.
    • 9th June 2013 | Cynthia Baseman says: Reply
      Give them time. Eventually someone will propose the idea.
      • 10th June 2013 | MAMACITA says: Reply
        Poor Gavin.Call in French Investigator Clouseau. Interpol in Paris will get to the bottom of this dilemma.
  4. 9th June 2013 | Roberta berkowitz says: Reply
    Can you get our neighbor to read your blog ?
    • 9th June 2013 | Cynthia Baseman says: Reply
      How I wish I could. Life would become more peaceful for the rest of us.

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