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 police officer rang Gavin’s doorbell at 8am to investigate a complaint of excessive barking, naturally the talk turned to dogs.

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 the city 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.

Gavin believed that was the end of the complaint on canine cacophony until a letter arrived from Beverly Hills City attorney Laurence Winer requesting Gavin appear at City Hall to discuss the matter. Gavin wrote back there was “no chance” of him coming in, 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.

To me, this stuff beats The Hatfields and the McCoys. Maybe it’s because Gavin is used to directing television for maximum drama. Or maybe it’s because I love a good fight. 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.