Friday, February 21, 2014

Like a Bad Neighbor

I have a ton of things I would rather post about, including the Winter Olympics, local restaurants, and of course, my dog; however, here I am, stuck writing an unpleasant sort of post about the place I live and the people there.

Tangentially, this is about my dog. As a puppy of about 8.5 weeks old, she ran up to my neighbor's shrew wife, barking her head off, after jumping out of the car and darting away from me. Gracie is nothing if not enthusiastic and people-oriented. My neighbors threw a huge bitch-fit about being scared of dogs. I have sympathy for people who are scared of dogs. I was one of them for the first three decades of my life! But even at my worst, I was never scared of puppies. Seriously, people, a puppy? Actually, I doubt they are afraid of dogs at all, but are rather disapproving of something else...

Anyway, that was right at two years ago now. I do my best to keep her on a leash, even if it is a bit longer than the oh-so traditional six-footer. My partner is has at times been markedly less compliant in this, primarily in the name of training, recall, and exercise. He wants her to learn. I would rather him consider where we are.

My neighbor has repeatedly accused us of allowing Gracie into his yard. Other than a couple loose-puppy forays, all well over a year and a half ago now, that's a lie. We do have several roving dogs in the neighborhood - an American bulldog, two medium-sized pitbulls, and a pit-Labrador (pitador) mix - but Gracie doesn't go toward their yard even when she does manage to seize a few minutes of freedom from her too-trusting handlers. She heads for the woods where the deer are, more often than not dragging her leash behind her (and laughing, I'm sure). End of story.

Several months ago my partner had a clash with the neighbor about some Sunday evening yard noise, which ended with the neighbor hurling some racist slurs at my partner and calling the police to report our dog for trespassing - again, like I said, he's a liar and I would print his name if only I knew it for sure.

Early this evening, we had Gracie tethered at the back door for about ten minutes because we both got in too late this afternoon to take her anywhere to play or go on a long walk. She barked a couple times, so partner stepped out. Dickhead next door was standing at the property line with his cell phone, recording her. We think he must have done something to antagonize her, as Gracie isn't a huge barker, except in the car. We also saw him outside at the curb in front of our house, taking pictures or recording, about twenty minutes later.

Now, here's something really odd. One day this week - either Tuesday or Wednesday, I think - something upset Gracie enough for her to paw at the front blinds. It doesn't take a rocket scientist to figure out when we aren't home, so I'm wondering if the neighbor came into the yard or maybe even peered in through our windows. But if so, why? We have a great security system, for which Gracie is an adequate back-up, and no obvious signs of undue affluence. It's a poorer neighbor with periodic crime issues. What would have been the motive? She was still very upset when partner got home.

I can't prove the guy next door did anything. It's only our word against his for the filming and pictures. I could quietly file a report, or I could in a decent area, but I'm not sure about here. Partner is mega-upset, but after dealing with the police last time, their treatment has made him reluctant to go to them for assistance, especially given the racial issues at play in our neighborhood and community as a whole.

The reason I'm posting this is primarily to have some record of our concerns in case the neighbor does anything rash. I don't know that it would ever be found, if we were killed or something, but the Internet has long been the repository of everything. Let it keep this account too.

Advice is welcome.

Wednesday, February 12, 2014

The less fun side of winter

I live south of Atlanta, so not surprisingly I'm without power right now and have been for about 13 hours. Except for 20 minutes of power in the mid afternoon. Thanks for that, GA power, for that false hope. Partner cooked dinner in the fireplace. We raided every closet for spare blankets. If not for our dog, we would have gone to a hotel. Not many pet friendly options out there.

It isn't exactly the kind of fun we had two weeks ago.

We're sleeping downstairs with the dog tonight.