dearmargaretI just moved into a nice neighborhood a few months ago. There is an optional HOA, which, at this point in time, I haven't joined. The homes are well kept, and all the neighbors seem friendly. However, I have one neighbor that walks his dog past my house at about the same time every day, and for whatever reason, the dog has chosen my yard to 'do his business.' The owner leaves the mess there and continues on with his walk. I don't want to come off as a jerk right off the bat, but I don't want to clean up after his dog on a continuing basis. How can I resolve this without making waves with the neighbor?
Problem with Neighbor

Dear Problem with Neighbor: It would be a good idea if your first interaction with the offending neighbor weren't confrontational. If you see this individual every day at the same time, make it a point to be out there and strike up a conversation with him as he strolls by. Ask about his dog, benefits of the HOA, his family, or anything to show yourself interested and friendly. I'm a firm believer that most people don't wake up in the morning trying to figure out how to make your life miserable that day. He might truly be oblivious to stepping over the boundaries with you. If after a few weeks the dog owner continues to allow his pet to 'do his business' in your yard, you'll have established some kind of relationship and will need to broach the subject.

Click Here to write to Dear Margaret.  Margaret Snow is a Life Coach in Ithaca, NY.