Ask Amy: I live in a Denver apartment and hear a dog constantly barking and moaning all day long

Dear Amy: My husband and I have a wonderful, stable, and loving relationship. We welcomed a new baby this year.

Neither set of our parents live in our state (on the West Coast), and it’s hard not to have a helpful “village” nearby.

We have a great group of friends, but lately I’ve felt unsettled.

I’ve lived in our city for more than seven years, and the crime rate has increased over the last few years, making me feel unsafe.

Our city has become trashed, and it feels like a skeleton of what it used to be.

I would like to move to be closer to my parents and try a different city and a new adventure.

My husband is opposed to moving because he loves our current city and our friends here. The thought of leaving makes him sad.

We are at a crossroads because I’m unhappy if we stay, and he could be unhappy if we go.

Separating isn’t an option, we’re too in love to live apart.

We plan to visit my parents over the holidays to vet out if a move is something we’d like to do, but what if we both don’t want to?

It’s a major thing to compromise on.

What do you suggest?

Should I stay or should I go?

— Torn

Dear Torn: Do you remember the wording of the traditional wedding vow?

Marriage is not only about celebrating the “better.” It occasionally means tolerating the “worse” until both parties can agree on what is best for the family.

Compromise doesn’t always result in both parties being equally happy at the same time. Compromise sometimes involves one party saying, “I’ll do this for now, and we’ll agree to weight the scale in my favor next time.”

Some of this will be dependent on your jobs and employment options, but telecommuting has opened up possibilities for some families to choose where to live.

Your idea to explore location options together is a great one — and exactly what you should be doing.

You should both commit to communicating about this, and decide to keep an open mind while you search for a balance.

Dear Amy: I live in an apartment complex in Denver, in a very pleasant and fun neighborhood populated by young professionals. I don’t like to complain about noise. I live in the city, after all!

But there’s a hound dog somewhere within a couple of blocks who barks and moans off and on, all day long.

It sounds like it is so sad, and maybe needs to be taken outside? I actually don’t even know where the dog is located because it is really loud and yet could be far away.

I guess there isn’t much I can do unless I know which apartment it’s in.

If I do locate it, should I buzz up and ask if there’s anything I can do to help?

I don’t want to get myself tied up in walking this dog every day, but what should I do? Do I need to just suck it up?

— B in Big D

Dear B: This poor dog is using its voice, and you must also use yours.

If you are able to figure out which building the dog is in, you should contact that building’s manager. (Other neighbors have no doubt done the same.) You should not “buzz up” and offer to walk this dog, under any circumstances.

After that, dial 311.

This is from the City of Denver’s government page (denvergov.org):

“DAP [Denver Animal Protection] will not take an anonymous barking dog complaint, which means that you must leave your contact information with a 311 agent. The agent will then route your call to DAP, which will send a warning or courtesy notice to the dog owner advising them of the complaint. This letter details the barking dog ordinance and gives the owner an opportunity to fix the issue.”

Dear Amy: I recently moved to a part of the country that is very white and very Baptist.

I am fine with people’s involvement with their churches, but how do I answer the common question around here about which church I belong to?

I am not especially religious, and I grew up in the Jewish faith.

— Not Sure

Dear Not Sure: There are definitely regions of the country where, “What’s your church” is a common “getting to know you” question.

“I’m not especially religious, and I grew up in the Jewish faith” works well. It also has the advantage of being true.

(You can email Amy Dickinson at [email protected] or send a letter to Ask Amy, P.O. Box 194, Freeville, NY 13068. You can also follow her on Twitter @askingamy or Facebook.)

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