Bye Bye Neighbor, and your little dog too.

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Have you ever tried so hard not to break something, so nervous that you ended up dropping it? I have, I am one who can see the road ahead, not necessary the future, ok maybe in the immediate future.
What can I say, sh*t sticks to me. I am so used to it, it’s like playing chess, I have to know what all my future moves are…just in case.

I live a non-existent social life. I’m not complaining, it’s how I choose to live. Away from the lounge lizards, the “girl pool” and the bar scene. I do enjoy my Facebook time and have come to feel it has this invisible barrier which protects me from the rude, insincere or the just ass’s. The barrier isn’t fool proof…How ironic is that line?

I have a neighbor who has 4 Chihuahs. When she moved here several years ago, she told me, she was lonely and got the 4th one? Are you kidding me? We all know how these overgrown, shivering beasts bark. Yap, yap, yap. All day and into the evening. I have one big dog, Woof. My dog has his downfalls. He’s a great dog but if another dog barks, he’s got to respond and loudly. After a year I decided I would have to confront the owner. I tried this 6 months ago by calling the city and asking an officer to drop by and warn her that there had been a complaint, nicely. He did this and for a couple of weeks it was better. I made a big effort to keep my dog at bay also. But it was time.

I spent a few days contemplating how to approach this woman. As I have mentioned I pretty much like being alone, I don’t like to know my neighbors too well either, always looking ahead with my head down. I figure if I stay out of their business, they will stay put of mine. Say “hello” while walking the dog or going to the mail box is as close as I want to be to my neighbors. I didn’t want to come off as a bully about her dogs or even confront her face to face if I didn’t have to. You ask a stranger to please respect the neighbors and do something about the barking and, well, who knows how that’s gonna work out. I try to avoid confrontations at any cost and came up with the perfect solution…the note written and placed in her mail box. Not a nasty note, not threatening to poison the little bastards, just a nice note saying it’s time to do something.

The next day I received my own note with comments added and copied asking everyone in the neighborhood, who wrote the note? She was pleasant and wanted to “work together”. So, of course, the great human being that I am, I did the right thing. I went over and told her it was me. She understood and wasn’t angry but the more she talked the more defensive she became. We agreed to try to keep our dogs quiet, and for the past week it has been pleasant. She is doing a marvelous job and in return mine doesn’t bark nearly as much and when he does I try to ward it off as quickly as possible.

Well, there is always that one special person in your neighborhood who you always expect to be behind anything out of the ordinary. And that special person lives between my dog hoarder and myself. And she’s friends with the mother of the little beasts. Of course it doesn’t take long before she has discussed it with everyone in the neighborhood. She was determined to find out who wrote the note and after she was told it was me the fuel hit the fire for another round to the neighbors with whatever. One simple request, which is working for both of us, and the drama keeps building.

I had had enough. She likes to walk her dog, another hairless, shaking toco dog, when she sees my housemate. She’s already brought up the barking to her this week.

I calmly went out on my drive where she had intercepted my house mate while walking her dog. Yes, we all have dogs but not all of us have a need for 4 of ’em. I kindly ask her of she had anything she wanted to discuss with me and she looked like she had been caught but followed through with the expected “no, why?”. After a few heated moments I had finally been able to come to the point, “mind your own business”! I did it, I finally blew my top and told her it did not concern her and it was not her business. I don’t have any issues with her dog, if it barks I must have just learned to ignore anything around this lady as well as herself. One of those future premonitions again. Should have saw it coming but I didn’t. She kept on and on about being friends with the dog whisperer. I made it clear that we were both working together and the neighborhood was better for it but she had to stick her nose in and stir the sh*t. I un-politely told her to get off you property.

It felt good, my knees shaking as bad if not worse that those yapping nightmares. Done, over. No collateral damage to speak of. Then she shows up on my door step with her little rat dog the next night. Of course my dog is coming unglued and his deep bark bounces around my high ceilings until it penetrates my head like a lighten rod. What could this woman want? Has she finally gone over the edge to be on my door step after I un-politely told her to get off my property?

As I am fighting my dog who is trying to get through the 3 inch crack of the door she is standing there talking with both dogs barking to beat the band. What is that you said? You want to be friends?

Think fast….

I bypassed the question as smoothly as possible. I told her if I had a problem with her dog I would let her know. She replied “I was walking on the other side of the road and your dog is still barking, where do you want me to walk him?” Oh Lord, why me? Seriously?

I thanked her for coming, shut the door and cut off the porch light. Good Night Irene.

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My Best Friend, Froggy

 

You don’t come across a dog named Froggy very often. You don’t find a dog like Froggy very often either. You should be sighing with relief right now, trust me. We tried to call him Scooby but it just wouldn’t stick.

Froggy was a rescue. After my miniature Eskimo, Apollo, passed I cried for weeks. My 19 year old son, living at home, said, “you need another dog but let’s get a real dog this time. A dog for me.” Why are small dogs always considered foo foo dogs? Apollo wasn’t.

So after looking under every stone in a 50 mile radius for the perfect “real” dog, we found Froggy waiting for his forever home at a horse farm. Six months old, shy and about 40 pounds with long lanky legs. I was told he was a Lab/Doberman mix. Six months later, after doing some research, I came to the conclusion Froggy was a Vizsla mix. Vizslas are bred in Hungry as hunting dogs. They have neither body odor nor doggy breath. But they love to chew, play and run…and run some more.

Froggy was hell on wheels. Nothing in the house was sacred. Pillows, shoes and usually leather ones, sheets, underwear. And bark? Froggy barked at, not only the neighbors, squirrels and birds, he barked at smells on the wind. He had a nose like no other I had ever seen.

And he could run. If he had half a chance out the cat door in the back of the house or any door wide enough for him to slip through he would go, and straight to the muck pond across the street or the marsh and creek 100 yards away.

Screaming at him was not necessary because he never looked back. But when he did come home, it was always the same scenario….black muck crusted from his paws up to his neck.

And then my son moved to his Dad’s…..without the dog.

Now, I was raised that if you had a pet it was your pet for the rest of its life. I already had 3 cats ages 14, 9 and 18! The dog had been home with me more, granted, so we were tight but this dog was his!

I emailed the lady whom had rescued him quite often. I emailed the lady whom had rescued him quite often. Usually it was “This dog is going to be the death of me”, or “If you come across anyone who might take Froggy let me know”. But then, after I calmed down from the last Froggy drama and I would send her a note and say “never mind”.

He burrowed deeper and deeper into my heart but he did acquire several nicknames such as Frogzilla, ADD dog, and of course, Damit.

He also had his special days I came to call Froggy Days. Such as the day I came home and most of the love seat had been chewed up and scattered across the floor with the wood frame still in tact. Or the day I came from work to find my feather pillow contents covering every room. You would have thought some kind of religious sacrifice had taken place. It took me months to get all the feathers that must have floated for hours with assistance from the ceiling fans left on all day.

Over the next two years and about 60 more pounds, Froggy started to settle down. He was still known to pull me off my feet dragging me across the vacant lot next door to chase a cat, but his chewing was limited to mostly cheap pillows I now bought 4 at a time. His Nyla bones saved most everything else. I went through about as much money buying “dog resistant” toys that he couldn’t chew up…until he was ready, then it would be found in a pile usually done in one sitting.

At 3 years old Froggy is my best mate. We’ve had some special together time at the local pet store where we attended obeisance classes. He has a harness, which doesn’t allow him to bolt, but I can let him off his leash and he will run rings around me and usually come back. He only gets my shoes and puts one on the bed to let me know he still thinks about it but doesn’t chew on them any longer. But the only thing that hasn’t changed was his contentious barking.

After the usual google recommended suggestions like pennies in a soda can which he got used to quickly or the water in a spray bottle I had decided to try a shock collar. It was taken back the next morning while I complained at the returns desk that it was down right abuse. Then I found the cats meow of the bark-less world. A collar that sprays a mist of citronella when he barks. Not found on the bargain table but worth every penny.

Now I live in peace, my dog is actually normal, my days and nights are quiet and my closet is filled once again with complete pairs of shoes.

And new nicknames have been assigned. Frogster, Frogmister and just Frog.

Now my son wants his dog back….

The Frog