responsibility

i am angry.

i am angry because i have a neighbor who is a complete jackass.

as i sat on my couch with my boys this morning, i thought to myself that i’d like to write about my dogs…how they bring me such happiness. how fidel’s little velvet face makes me melt…and their games with the ball or their toy squirrel never fail to put a smile on my face. but then, i thought, ‘no one really wants to read about my gushing over my dogs. we all love our animals. i don’t need to brag.’

i take pretty good care of my dogs…sometimes to the point of indulgence. they are fairly obedient, with a few exceptions…most evenings when i open the gate to the yard, they do a quick romp to the end of the block and back before i can corral them inside. on the other hand, i can take them to memorial park and remove the leashes with no fear of their running away. still, i keep an eagle eye on them most of the time, and the few times they have escaped from the yard have nearly given me a heart attack.

sidenote: i have a severe weakness for animals. i can proudly say i have never hit an animal of any kind with my car…though i’ve nearly destroyed cars in an effort to avoid doing so. but in short, i’m a sucker. i get this from my father. as a child, my dad worked in an area surrounded by open fields, and every week, he would bring home a new stray he had caught…probably some dog the family no longer wanted, cast aside on the side of the road. (i will never understand how people have the heart to do this.) having 2 dogs and 3 cats already, we couldn’t keep these animals… so dad would bring them not to the pound, but animal rescue centers where, with a contribution, you could prevent the animal from being euthanized before finding a home. so, one doesn’t grow up in this environment without it rubbing off. whenever i see a dog running loose anywhere, i stop my car and try to make sure it’s not lost and hurt, etc. (poor cynthia has been in the car with me at least 4 or 5 times in the last couple months when i’ve embarked on dog rescues…most of the time, in high heels. she drew the line the other day when i tried to shoo the raccoon out of the middle of the road.)

all that being said, my neighborhood is overrun with dog lovers. people are ridiculous about their dogs in southhampton. at any point, you can catch 4 or 5 people walking their dogs down north and south boulevards. i love this, though there are slight annoyances. (the dog park down the street is a tightly run ship…you are almost made to feel as though your dogs should pass some kind of inspection before they are accepted within the gates.) regardless, my dogs are very popular in my area, as they are left visible behind an iron gate on a heavy-traffic corner. they like some of the people who pass by the yard and dislike others. (i can’t quite figure out the pattern, but i’m confident they are good judges of character.)

all that being said, i have a neighbor who has a dog that closely resembles mine. his is a miniature pinscher and mine are manchester terriers. it is not unusual for me to see this dog running in the middle of the street at night. alone. sometimes, driving home from an evening out, i can’t clearly see the dog, and i momentarily panic that my dogs have escaped. i didn’t know where this dog lived…if it was a stray…if it had a collar…why it was in the middle of the road. i have stopped many times, worried about this dog, trying to get him to come to me so that i could safely escort him home. aside from that, people have come knocking on my door several times now…asking if my dogs have gotten out of the yard, having just seen this little min pin. i’ve seen this dog scurrying around in the rain…at night. mind you, it’s a small, BLACK dog. if any animal is aching to get run over, it is this one. so, one morning, i saw it running around, and i tried to follow it. (the comical part is that i followed this dog 2 blocks in my nightgown and robe.) finally, i saw it hop up the steps in front of this house around the corner. the man of the house opened the door (that was closed) and calmly let the dog inside, as if nothing was out of order. i was shocked.
‘is that your dog?’ i ask.
‘yeah. i just let her run around the block. she always comes back,’ he says.
‘you’re serious?’ i ask.
‘sure,’ he says.

i am struck dumb. i am so angry, i don’t even know what to say. so, i walk off.

today, i get another knock on the door. another random stranger.

‘have your dogs gotten out? there is a little black down down the street, and he is limping,’ the man says.

my dogs safely on the couch and knowing exactly which dog to which he was referring, i grab my keys and brush past the man, asking him to follow me.

as i walk the two blocks and around the corner, i explain the situation to him. i am livid. i am tired of this asshole letting his dog run around the neighborhood, leaving the rest of us to worry about hitting it. i am ready to give him a serious piece of my mind. and my partner in outrage(mark, who turns out to be another neighbor down the street) is equally ready to punch this guy’s face.

so we knock on the guy’s door, and he answers… the dog is somehow at his side, having run home immediately. mark explains that the dogs was limping, and the man says that the dog always favors one leg. (perhaps an injury from running haphazardly around the damn neighborhood?) but this time, his explanation is that his dog is an escape artist. he proceeds to explain that they just can’t seem to keep the dog inside. he says that other neighbors have talked to him about this. (yeah…no shit.) and again, i find myself so mad that i can barely speak to this idiot. after hearing his pathetic excuse, mark and i walk back to my place, shaking our heads.

the moral of the story: the NEXT time i see this little dog running around (and i walk up to his house to see the door closed), i am catching that dog and instead of bringing him home, i am going to give it to someone who will take better care of it. and to the jerk who lives at 1622 milford, take responsibility for your animals.

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~ by ladamesansregrets on November 17, 2007.

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