This year we purchased a *Fiskar's reel mower and the absence of both noise and air pollution is wonderful. We can mow at 5 am if we desire (which we most decidedly do not) because we wouldn't disturb a soul and it's good exercise though it does take a bit longer.
The real problem (for lack of a better term being retrieved from my brain) is that our Golden Retriever who was afraid of our gas-powered lawn mower and would stay as far away from it as possible -even remaining on the patio in the back yard while we would mow the front, is no longer afraid of the mower.
In fact, having the threat removed and being the velcro dog that he is, he not only follows us around while we mow but has developed an amazing capacity to plunk himself down precisely in the 18-inch wide swathe of lawn currently being mowed and, when asked to move, places himself precisely 18-inches further into the un-mowed portion of the lawn. So, we've been playing a marvelous game we call The Pick Up Your Ball and Move, Please Loop since the commencing the lawn-mowing season.
Surprisingly, I think he's going to give up first -as the last time I mowed he moved to the sidewalk after the 3rd iteration and remained there for the duration.
*You haven't tried a reel mower until you've tried this one. Great features include: wheels inset from the blades so you can get up very close to obstacles and edges, an amazingly generous reel height adjustment (up to 4 inches) and an ease of pushing that while not as effortless as a self-propelled mower it's exponentially easier than any reel mower I've ever tried.