I made a mistake. Several, actually. Recent guests had four dogs who barked for six solid hours for two days each. One dog, a very large Labrador puppy, was the catalyst causing the ruckus. I have had dozens of animals, four dogs at a time plenty of times, without this issue. My initial mistake was that I had forgotten to send my Pet Addendum to the reserving guest which states that the guest must communicate with me about arrangements for when the guest will be absent. It also requires that animals must be crated. I messaged the guest while she was gone to alert her to the fact that the dogs were barking incessantly and actually sounded distressed (well, the Chihuahua sure did) and she advised me that she was sure the animals were “fine” and that her group was on their way home. They arrived three hours later. My second mistake is that I did not make sure that arrangements were made to alleviate the situation. I got a message, the next day, after the group had left, that they would be gone all day and that she was sorry that the dogs would probably be barking all day, again. I could not have asked them to leave without penalty because they weren’t breaking any rules. My “quiet hours” are from 11 PM to 7 AM (as this guest points out, later). My third mistake was probably not consulting this forum before I reviewed her.
I decided to review her by stating that “xxxxxx was a part of a group of four military families and four (or five, as they snuck one in) friendly dogs. They seemed to enjoy themselves and took full advantage of the porch, yard and property. They left the property clean. Future hosts would be wise to clarify with xxxxx what her plans are for her dog, and the dogs of those in her party, if they decide to leave the property for an extended period of time, two days in a row, to prevent said dogs from expressing their collective, extreme, and prolonged distress at being left out of the party.” I sent her a private message that said: " if our property had been in close proximity to neighbors as most homes and apartments are (whether it was owner-occupied or not), or (I feel sure) if you had been hosted by anyone other than me, you would and should probably have been asked to cancel your reservation and find other accommodations."
This guest left a review that said: “Our stay was great”.
After seeing my review and message, she has now sent me a long message excoriating me, telling me to remove the “pet friendly” label from my listing because “dogs bark”, she’s never had any complaint from her neighbors, I caused her stress by sending so many messages (one greeting and two about the dogs, one each day). She also complains about the fact that I collected taxes from her separately from the final bill (have to in Virginia). She ends the missive by saying that the place was nice and that they felt welcome.
I have emotional whiplash. I have now written five responses. Can I send one?