Monday, July 23, 2007

ode to my next door neighbors' dog...

My whole life I thought I liked dogs but now I realize that I don't really. I realize that I view animals on a guilty until proven innocent basis (my policy for people as well).


Growing up in Mississippi, the dogs seemed much more likeable. Like the people, they have adopted a more mellow, easy-going way of life. There are bigger yards and more designated places for them to run wild.

I don't know what it is about the bay area but the dogs attitudes reflect those of the people. They seem slightly aggressive and, for the most part, unfriendly. I don't get it. They prance their dogs around like the hottest fashion accessories and flash you a dirty look when you so much as glance at the dogs. It is not the same in L.A. The people and the dogs were much more approachable. People would notice me looking at their dogs and do everything from nod in recognition to offer to let me pet their dogs.

Anyway... I digress... I hate my next door neighbors' dog. Is it the dogs fault? Not really... It is allowed to stay in the yard and bark continuously and aggressively all day. (literally, all day) My neighbors have a rather large family. I have counted at the very least six children, all nearly a year apart in age. The father only appears at barbecues and parties, while the mom only comes out of the house to do the occasional laundry or to scream horrible things to the unruly kids in Spanish. They have been living next door for over a year and the kids seem to be left to their own devices. The older two are relatively quiet. The oldest of the middle children likes to hide behind the fence and stare at me as I read/smoke/whatever. She thinks I can't see her but I could make out her coke bottle glasses from the thinnest space in the fence. The other two run rampant, screeching in babytalk gibberish and the newborn cries in a low-whine at all times. Needless to say, they are a very loud bunch.

Then about two months ago, they added yet another member to their already large, boisterous family; a young dog. It is hard to tell how old he is, as I have always seen him through a crack in the fence. He is obviously a chihuahua mix (about the size of one and with the disproportionately large ears). It is really out of control how much he barks... I mean, continually like a broken record. If anyone makes the slightest noise, he is immediately running as close to the source as possible, growling and yapping at it. As I have observed, no one barely pays attention to it, let alone brings it inside or scolds it.

What is wrong with these people? I understand that they don't discipline their kids so why do it for the dog but come on! I had a dog for over ten years. He was a basset hound and very prone to barking. I effectively disciplined him to the point where he barely barked at all inside and almost nonexistently outside. I know it can be done. My parents only allowed me to get my dog if I proved myself to be a responsable owner. To get my dog, I had to show that I could feed, walk and discipline it.

Don't get me wrong, I know barking for a dog is talking for us. I understand that people and other animals alike can get riled and express themselves vocally and I am not against that at all. It is the constant bark all day that I cannot take. Why did they get a dog in the first place? The mother is already at the end of her proverbial rope with the kids so why add a dog (possibly a puppy) to the mix?

Something has to be done about this...

2 comments:

k0s said...

Heh. You're too apologetic.

The Bay Area certainly soured my disposition on dogs for some time. Until then, I had lived in Kansas, Stockton, CA, and Massachusettes, and some people liked dogs, some people liked cats, some people liked both, and some people neither, and basically people all said to the others, "well, lifestyle choice".

The I got to Berkeley and met ... the Dog People. Dogs weren't a lifestyle choice...they *were* a lifestyle, and a fashion accessory, and a kid one could idealize because one's own spoiled brat was beginning to get on mommy's and daddy's nerves. Dog People are just....well, they're better than the rest of us. And have more rights. Whatever.

It took me years after moving before I could get to the point where I started looking around at the New York dogs and being reminded not of the Bay Area Dog People, but of my family's dog, Max, that I loved and played with throughout my childhood.

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