Today when I got home, Madeline had had an accident in the living room. Actually, several small accidents. I’m one week out from my myomectomy & still have a healing 4″ incision on my belly, so I’m not really good at crouching right now & I knew clean up was going to take a while. I let Madeline out into the front yard, which is enclosed by a 6′ chain link fence hedged intermittently with bougainvillea, watched her for a little while, then went back inside to clean up her poop.
When I was on the 3rd puddle, I heard Madeline barking & running. She barks at people walking past; it’s a dog thing. It usually lasts only the few seconds it takes them to pass. Then I heard her barking again. And then again. And then I heard the sound of a child laughing.
Normally the sound of children laughing is a positive thing, but not when my dog is involved. As I got outside, I caught sight of a little blonde boy flying by on his little bicycle, & Madeline was chasing him along the fence. I wasn’t overly offended by this, but if he was going to do this back & forth over & over again it was going to get tedious. I called Madeline away from the fence & told her to cut it out. Then I went back inside to hurry up & finish cleaning.
I haven’t been posting because life got really busy in the last few months. I needed a 3rd job with short shifts preferably at night, so I joined a new band & we’ve been gigging a lot. Single parenting 3 dogs is rough because if I’m not here for them, no one is, so short work shifts are a must for me.
Lorraine, the hateful neighbor, hasn’t gotten confrontational with me since the last time I called the cops on her & her raunchy granddaughter (for the latest venting post about those people, see The Hostile Neighbor’s Granddaughter Speaks). My dogs are outside only if I’m home because I simply can’t trust those people not to harrass them when I’m gone. I’ve found projectiles in my yard that not only came from Lorraine’s property but could not have gotten over the 6′ wall or through the shrubbery without being deliberately thrown. And more telling is that my dogs are completely oblivious to Lorraine’s dogs’ barking… but go on immediate Red Alert if they hear Lorraine’s or her asshole brother’s voices. I’ve caught the brother verbally taunting my dogs on multiple occasions (unfortunately, not technically a criminal offense). I also regularly listen to him taunting Lorraine’s dogs. Yeah, seriously. He taunts their own dogs.
I read dog related news articles most days, & in the “pit bull” war there seems to be a stereotype about bully breed owners. I can’t say it isn’t based on fact, based on the insensitive crap so many “pit bull” owners are doing on the mainland, but I don’t agree that all people get a bully breed because they want to be macho, or because they are criminals.
I ended up taking Madeline home because she made eyes at me. And I wanted a girl dog. Not the most informed of adoption decisions, but I was a novice dog owner & I felt a connection. I adopted Boomer because he was the only pup in the litter who actively preferred cuddling & being carried to ankle biting. I looked to big dogs because I think of little dogs as yappy & too easily broken. I don’t want a dog I have to be careful not to step on. I want a dog I can hug with both arms.
That said, I think bully breeds, especially American Bulldogs, Staffies, & APBTs, retain “puppy faces” all their lives. My Aussie, Chie, is a beautiful girl, but her face looks nothing like it did when she was a puppy & I have to admit I’m less addicted to kissing her. There, I’ve admitted it. My American Bulldogs are extra kissable because they still have puppy faces & they still make puppy eyes at me when they
want to be manipulative look at me. Sometimes I even call Boomer “my little seal” when he gives me the big eyes.
For the back story on this, see The Hostile Neighbor.
I don’t check my mail every day, but yesterday I found this note, on a torn up piece of composition book paper:
hi, my name is Kea & I am Lorraine’s grandaughter. My dog was indoors all day with me yesterday & never barked, but you still told my tutu that she did. All I remember yesterday was your dogs howling (for an hour). I know you say not to yell at them but it’s really hard not to when I’m sick & trying to sleep. When they bark at night I yell too be cause I go to Kamehameha so school starts early & I need sleep with is nearly impossible when theres barking. You say they feel threatened but no one’s doing anything from 2am-4am. I can also hear everything you do. I can hear you sing, talk, talk on the phone, I can hear your tv, & I can pretty much hear you breathe. I’ve tried being nice & not yelling but it’s really hard when your dogs are idiots. Please hire the dog whisperer or something because I can’t sleep or watch tv in peace & you can’t blame it on my dog because when my grandma is in Hilo my dog is with me in the house. Your dogs howling is scary & annoying. If your dogs don’t shut up, I will keep swearing & screaming & shooting them w/ the hose. might as well since we’re such mean people HAHA.
This is a continuation of “When Your Neighbor Hates Your Dog,” an earlier post.
If you haven’t read the above post (& are too lazy to), I’ve got this neighbor named Lorraine who hates my dogs. She’s a middle aged doctor, she’s got 3 dogs that bark constantly, & she lives behind me as well as rents out rooms.
Back Story. Our first dog-related contact was last year when I noticed that Boomer was jumping at the wall in the backyard (see “Boomerproofing“). I was greatly disturbed, & within the hour I’d not only arranged to take Boomer to work with me that evening, but also stopped by at her house to talk to her.
She was off island; she’s gone a lot. I left my name, number & email. Since Boomer jumped in direct response to her dogs’ frenzied barking on the other side of the wall, I hoped that together we could be more vigilant of our dogs’ behavior & basically get all the dogs to settle down.
Madeline & I have been working on the frisbee. We got the Ball Fetch down; Madeline knows “Get it,” “Give it to me” (which means to drop it into my hands), “Drop it” (on the ground), & “Leave it.” I’ve been introducing Madeline to the frisbee & finally this week she began catching it:
Boomer is only just learning to fetch the ball. We’ve actually been working on it almost as long; until recently Boomer has shown no interest in the ball once it stops moving. But I kept trying! Last week he actually began picking it up off the ground & today he actually brought it back to me, after a little prancing. Note the very different technique:
Tonight while I was at work I got a call from Lorraine, who lives next door, about my dogs. She was hysterical. According to her, Boomer was barking & she needed to sleep by 10pm (it was 10:24) & she was fed up & she was going to call the Humane Society. She said that he’s dangerous & if I thought a little wire (see Boomerproofing) was going to keep him from getting over the wall it was not. She said that he caused her all kinds of anxiety & she couldn’t even walk around in her back yard nor could she let her grandkids play in the back yard because she is scared of him. She ranted about being a homeowner, & having rights… & then she seemed to run out of gas & began mumbling. I’m pretty sure she wasn’t making words, just weird sounds. I tried to get a word in, but she kept mumbling incoherently. Then she hung up.
This was the first time I’d heard of a barking problem, & it seemed odd, since Boomer’s not really much of a barker. Lorraine had called me a few days before to let me know that one of her tenants (she rents out rooms) had seen Boomer get his head wedged between the wire canopy (again, see Boomerproofing) at the corner of the wall. I thanked her for letting me know & took care of it the next day by placing one of the green Opala carts (see the picture, below) in the corner so Boomer can’t even approach the corner. I’ve been looking around for a suitable 4′ – 6′ potted plant to put in that corner, because that’s frankly all it would take to keep him from jumping in that specific spot.