On Alienating the Neighbors
First of all, I think it's time I start vlogging, like Elaine does. Here's the practical issue, though: It involves looking good and it's usually 5am when I blog and I wouldn't want to scare anyone. I'll think about it as I research cameras.
As for neighbors, a couple of years ago I wrote about how my next-door neighbor's daughter, who is in medical school, visited her parents and brought a puppy (Izzy) from a pet store with her. Because she was very busy with finals, she left Izzy with her parents, who had never had a dog in their lives (she said it was a cultural thing–they're from Haiti and don't have the same relationship with dogs as we do in the United States, and having been to Haiti I know what she's talking about).
Needless to say, her parents keep Izzy in a tiny cage on their back porch day and night, as Izzy barks. They have no idea what she needs or what to do with her. I do my best to coach them and even walk Izzy with Violet, as she's an alpha dog and will show Izzy the ropes, which she did. But I didn't get very far.
Izzy's mom returns two weeks later, at which point I offer to buy her. We have the pet store/puppy mill conversation, we have the why-buy-a-dog-when-your-life's-only-getting-MORE-difficult conversation, we talk about a dog's needs, and she was remarkably receptive and educated about the needs of dogs and did seem to have thought things through. She declined my increasing dollar offers.
Of course, we had the discussion about her parents not being the optimal Izzy-sitters and their lack of interest in altering that status.
She left with Izzy and, I kid you not, her parents–my next-door neighbors whom I see every single day at least once–never spoke to me again. It became something of a joke as I would say hi to them just so they could think about the fact that they weren't saying hi to me. They moved out last week and didn't even say goodbye.
The most recent episode was a dad who is apparently teaching his 5-year old son how to walk one of their Goldens. Evidently, the dog dragged the boy and my neighbor (not next-door, luckily) beat the dog, in front of other people (who told me). And I mean beat. Punched, hard.
I wouldn't have guessed this guy would do this so I actually approached him and said, "You weren't the guy who beat one of your dogs . . ." And he was. And here's his explanation: "You don't have kids. You don't know what it's like to see your kid get dragged down the street, yada yada." (And by the way I've seen the boy since and I didn't see anything wrong with him.)
I was shocked, and suggested that perhaps a small boy shouldn't be walking such a rambunctious dog. It's not as if the dog was attacking the child. The dog probably doesn't even know why he was beaten.
Then I get the other line apparently meant to shut me up: "I've had dogs all my life," to which I of course wanted to say, "And you've been beating them all your life? So the longer you've had dogs the more license you have to beat them? What the heck is that about?"
Then he wants the name of the neighbor who told me the story. Like I'm going to tell him when he is so escalated.
He, by the way, is one half of the couple we actually liked. And his wife is a sweetheart.
Any suggestions? In his defense (not of the beating), he's a triathlete and takes the Goldens (they have two) for long (miles) walks and runs and I've never even seen him raise his voice at the dogs, his two small sons or his wife.
But he had not a shred of remorse and was quite indignant and felt–said–that beating the dog was justified.