Why is a single complaint so powerful?

I now have the cutest puppy, named Annie.

Her arrival has brought much happiness to my hubby and my lives. The new dynamics within our home is amazing, as we speak to each other about Annie throughout the day. Chatting like never before as we have something special we share in common. Our kids are grown, the grandkids are growing up, and not close enough to visit frequently, therefore our nest was empty, so to speak. Annie has filled a need we had not been aware we had.

But, I am discovering others don’t appreciate the joy a pet brings to a home. Some of these people are complainers and make complaints about any thing they feel isn’t right – including my quiet, affectionate six month old puppy.

I live in a life style village where well behaved pets are welcome. I always heard there were grumbling residents who complained, and some of them are valid if the pet barks consistently and destroys the peace that a neighbour expects. Within a village, this can be addressed, not like the problem it can be out in the residential sub divisions.

A fellow resident decided to address their concern today.

An unidentified villager complained about me walking Annie along a pathway, past the windows of the community lounge, across tile pathways that lead from the fenced in pool, gym and along to another village street.

The complaint had me thinking.

Why is it that one complaint can be so powerful?

Why do council or village management (in my case) listen and accept the complaint as valid, instead of looking at the bigger picture?

More upset is created to the average law abiding person by this attitude than is necessary, in my opinion.

I decided to address my issue on our village facebook page, hoping not to ruffle feathers, but to open up an awareness of the way it seems to be in todays world. The complainer has all the power to stop progress, and take away the enjoyment of others.

Quote from my post:

Dear village friends and neighbours.

Almost three weeks ago I became the happy owner of the cutest little puppy, who we named Annie. Many of you have met her, as she enjoys being cuddled and talked to by people. Also she is progressively socialising with other dogs within the village.

All in all, most of us are becoming one friendly, happy pet friendly family of residents.

Unfortunately there are one or two residents who don’t seem to like pets in the village and who complained about our pet even before she arrived.

I understand barking dogs are annoying, and I’m happy to say Annie has only barked when meeting another dog who she hasn’t socialised with yet. She is very quiet at home. Neighbours who have spoken with me, are saying they would not know I had a dog if I hadn’t told them.

But there seems to be an ongoing problem somewhere. I want to address this, as I strongly desire us all to enjoy living in our lovely village.

Today I learned that one resident has complained because I walk Annie from the kitchen path, past the pool area and down the lane via the gym. Today I was told dogs are not allowed in this public area by Tony. (Our village manager)

This instruction annoys me as it is unreasonable.

Can anybody who knows why this might be a problem for the complainer, please explain what harm a quiet, clean little dog is doing taking this pathway with its’ owner, when on a leash?

My thoughts on this is that these repeated complaints are causing emotional tension by taking pleasure and enjoyment (that I have enjoyed after living here these last 8 years), away from me.

I and the 20% of other responsible doggie families in the village, surely have rights to walk within our common areas as well.

I understand why the pool and BBQ areas are out of bounds. Walking along the paved areas disturbs no one. I consider the complaint is unfair as it doesn’t affect that person negatively in any way.

Finally, this one complaint is from a resident who is unwilling to talk to me about his/her concerns. I am happy to chat with him/her if he/she will discuss their problem one to one.

Unless they do this, their grumbling will continue in the village about such situations making the atmosphere in the village not what it should be for all affected.

I invite him/her to meet me in the lounge and I’ll shout you a drink and we can talk this over.

Glennis

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