As anyone who has read my blog knows, I think my dog is an a number one smart little guy. Hardly perfect, but he knows what he is, and is not, supposed to do, and barring selective hearing, is very good about following direction. We were worried that, being he's a big dog, that he might be aggressive, even unintentionally. So we trained, and trained, and worked with him. We keep him in a kennel when small children are around, so he won't inadvertently knock a child over. He wouldn't do it with malice, but try to explain that to a three year old.
Dad trained our Saint Bernard not to be vicious about food by "working" with him from tiny pup, picking up the dish when he was eating, gently pulling on his tail, pushing him, putting his hand near the bowl, and so on, until Buddy was more or less "safe" when someone was near. This must have worked well, because later he "adopted" a batch of kittens, and they would climb into his food bowl. He would just patiently wait until they were
Husband and I took this a little further, not letting Rudee eat until we said so, so he wouldn't bolt (he has this running thing down to a science). He will sit, staring at the bowl until we tell him it's okay. Then he can eat. The only problem we have ever had, was once Tux got into the bowl, and Rudee growled. After a little Alpha Female reprimand, and having the food taken away entirely, we worked on him and cats. He now realizes that cats won't eat much, and most of the time, he just sighs, and waits for them. I make a point of not letting any kitty stay too long, he is part Shepard, but so far it's worked.
So. We try and do all this. We keep Rudee up on his shots. We make sure we know where he is AT ALL TIMES. In short, we try to be responsible owners.
Maybe that's why other people bug me so much about their dogs. One neighbor lets his dogs roam where they will. I nearly took after the younger dog with a switch, because he was on OUR property, and ran MY cat up a tree. The response? Oh, just run him off, he shouldn't be there.
I picked up the older dog, in my pickup, because it was on the main thoroughfare for our little burg, fairly busy one, and took it home. Same owner.
Oh, guess it wandered off.
Yeah. Guess it did.
I have threatened to call the Sheriff, but Husband has asked me not to. So far... I haven't.
Then the neighbors next to me. I was admonished, when we first got Rudee, that we had better keep him under control, because he was a German Shepard, and they had sheep, and they would shoot him if he got into the sheep. So we have been vigilant about keeping track of him (which we would have anyway.)
But them? They have Terriers. The guy neighbor is several tacos short of a combo plate, and can't understand that I don't WANT the dogs on my property.
But they come over and dig for vermin!
I don't care.
I want them to dig on the neighbor's property. They make Rudee bark, and I have to shush him. Then, same neighbor whistles, and makes Rudee start up again. He thinks it's FUNNY! I actually confronted him, and told him to stop that, because Rudee's a watch dog, and that is really annoying to have him wind up the dog for no reason. But, not a couple days ago, I think he was doing it again. Rudee was just about losing it while we walked, and I kept hearing a high pitched whistle. Couldn't see the neighbor, but...
And I try to keep my cats home, but said neighbor doesn't like cats, and runs the terriers after them. This has had the fortunate consequence of making the cats stay home, but I really would like to know the cat is causing problems, not just suddenly see my cat chased half way across the field by his dogs...
And the neighbor after that. She does horse stuff, and rides on the road. Her dogs come by, and as like as not, will come on the place and take a dump. Or wind Rudee up, where I have to grab him to keep him from running after them down the road. She doesn't see this as a problem, the dogs are just getting some exercise. (I have this evil thought of filling a wagon with dog poo, tying the wagon to Rudee and dumping in her field. Gee, he was just getting some exercise.)
So, I had to go up to her house to deliver an item, had my 'uniform' on for work. I was standing there, and one of the dogs comes up and starts growling. She mentions, oh, that's the OTHER neighbor's dog. It came close to taking a snap at me. I mention this, and she said something to the effect of, oh, he's just a grouch. (A grouch. If he'd nailed me, he'd have been put up for his first bite. A second means the dog is not going to be in the land of the living long.) So, I keep an eye on him, and keep my hands close to my sides. He finally leaves. Another dog walks up, and sits. This one is hers, and I know the dog. So I start to pet it. It proceeds to jump all over me, leaving slimy muddy tracks all over my uniform. Her response, oh, isn't that cute? He likes you.
Oh, G*d in his firmament, save me from people that think that is cute. I still remind Rudee that jumping isn't allowed.
And now, when I walk? The other neighbor's dogs sit at the fence line and bark. EVERY TIME I GO BY. I try to be a good neighbor, but I am beginning to want to get my slingshot out, and nail one or two of them, so that I can have some peace.
I won't. For one, it's not the dog's fault. For another, I wouldn't want to hit one of the horses, or even Rudee. I am a good shot, but not perfect.
There you have it, folks, one vented spleen.
I have good neighbors. Honestly.
It's just that once in a while, things like this get me down. And I suppose part of it, I am an animal lover, and I feel it's doing a dis-service, when they are allowed to act like that...
Or maybe I am just over reacting. I don't know. But I am really tempted to start creating a dog poo pile, just in case.
(And I lost .2 of a pound. Not much, but it's down!)