Tisbury selectmen were called on last week to mediate a barking dog dispute.
Since last spring Nick Mosey claims he has had to withstand relentless barking from a group of five Shetland sheepdogs on an abutting property on West Spring street. But Mr. Mosey told the selectmen his formative upbringing in postwar London prevented him from contacting the town earlier about the problem.
“The culture there during that war was very much get on with it and don’t complain,” he said at the selectmen’s meeting. “If I’d been born here I might have been before you a lot earlier . . . It’s hard for me to describe how stressful this is.”
In response, the dogs’ owner, Marcia Weir, accused Mr. Mosey of provoking the dogs by squirting them with a hose when she wasn’t around. Ms. Weir also made the unusual claim that Mr. Mosey was in the possession of an electronic device purpose-built to annoy dogs. Ms. Weir said she made the unhappy discovery in September.
“All of a sudden I walk through the house and there was this weird whistling noise sort of like firecracker whistles,” she said “I went [outside] and Mr. Mosey was at his fence with a device in his hand. I don’t know what he was doing. Obviously, he was making some kind of noise. My blood was boiling. I told him to get away from the fence and leave my dogs alone.”
Selectmen Geoghan Coogan found the premise absurd.
“I’ll throw it out there,” he said. “It’s seems to me like a patently ridiculous concept that one complains about barking dogs and then antagonizes them to bark more. It doesn’t make any sense to me.”
Mr. Mosey said that he was in fact recording the dogs with a video camera at the time for evidence, an act that he admitted was intrusive.
Animal control officer Laurie Clements said she had interviewed seven of Ms. Weir’s nine other neighbors, none of whom complained about the barking.
One member of the audience did come to Mr. Mosey’s defense. Leslie Howard said that she had visited the Moseys’ house on occasion and was familiar with the barking.
“It’s insane, it just goes on and on and on,” she said.
Selectmen voted to write a letter to Ms. Weir asking her to do everything in her power to mitigate the barking.