Saturday, September 20, 2008

Strange Days

Construction has begun on my fence and I'm getting a blissfully cold shoulder from the hillbillies that live behind me.  The wife did stalk over to explain to me (order me) as to how I should proceed with the fence.  I was dozing on my chaise lounge.  I interrupted her fence building tirade at one point and said "Ma'am, I'm not actually building the fence myself"  and she went on for a bit longer.  When she paused I said "My guy who is  building the fence knows exactly what to do"...and she continued a bit more and then said, quickly "Well, OK, thank you" and walked off.

As she left, I wondered exactly who she was having a conversation with-it surely wasn't me.

The straw that broke open my bank book was not the discussion I had with her husband last week about reaching over the fence and touching the dogs.  It was actually more of a fight.  He was at the fence messing with the dogs again and I said "I really wish you'd ignore them"....and he blustered "Well, I HAVE to talk to them and get them used to me so they will quit barking.  And that new one (my border collie puppy) BIT me when I stuck my hand through the fence."

We've had many variations of the discussion-no touch, no eye contact, please refrain from bending over the fence and picking up my chihuahuas so you can pet them, please keep your friend's 80 pound Golden on your side of the fence....etc.  So I tried the short, terse approach and said "how about you stop sticking your hand through the fucking fence?" and began at once to make plans for my NEW fence.

He began to bluster about "if I'd only told him", and besides he needed (NEEDED) to pet the dogs, it would stop them from barking, and I came to realize that it was a brick wall-no body was home.  So I made a finito sign and said "we're done" and walked off.

He has been better about ignoring the dogs, and there is no barking.  Except during the two bonfires that they lit over the past week.  The pit is about 10 feet in front of the main gas line, next to the tent where the homeless relative is staying.  Ok, that's mean.  He probably had a home before the hurricane blew it away, but why won't they let him stay in their house?

So, hurt feelings aside, I am going ahead with my fence plans and if they think I'm "uppity", well, so be it.


Mim said...

Uppity...haven't heard that in a while. Remember...good fences make good neighbors

Debra Kay said...

Amen sister. I knew when I lost my temper it was time to have the fence...if the fool didn't get bitten by a dog (and he would have) I might have punched him in the nose. I didn't realize how I've come to avoid the backyard, and how much I've come to resent that fact until, well, I thought about it.

Whether or not he means it to be (and I don't think he does) reaching over the fence and picking up the little dogs is a hostile (to them) act. Even if the dog he's picking up doesn't mind, the dominant (I say with much laughter) male, Cody, resents that. And frankly, I do too. I really don't like people touching my stuff without permission, and especially my animals.

It's also a bit bizarre. Oklahoma is fairly rural in mindset, and fences are a big universal keep out this is private sign. His reaching over the fence sort of tells me he may have issues with authority and boundaries (don't we all) that I simply don't want to deal with.

Because I am now out there when the pack is out there, keeping him at bay, all are more relaxed.

Another chilling thing is his insistence that Moonie "wants to be friends" even though he bites. Moonie, at 12 weeks old, is standing by the fence, not barking, crouched in a stalking position, hackles up, staring fixedly at him. This is dog speak for "I'm going to bite you if you move forward." Moonie's Mom, at 35 pounds, can grab a steer by the nose and hang on until it turns in the direction she wants it to go. I have no doubt in MY mind that the pup would bite him if he moved forward, yet this yo yo is living in some world that doesn't include what is happening right before his eyes.

So, in addition to privacy, I want to put up a fence before he gets my dog into trouble. Even more bizarre is that he and his wife have a dog that is a known biter and have warned me many times (she's a rescue), so you'd think he'd know the signs of aggression. But it might be that macho thing of wanting to believe he has the baddest dog on the block or something.

So, I'll put up my fence, work extra with Moon so he doesn't become overly protective and is relaxed around strangers. I just don't have it in me to correct him at the fence, because dang it, the dog is RIGHT-Jed Clampett should stay on his side of it.

On a bragging note-my guys got lots of practice today backing off the gate and letting workmen pass. We didn't start out perfect, but by the end of the day I was glowing with pride.

soulbrush said...

as far as i'm concerned, if you put your hand over or through the fence to touch another person's dog, you should be bitten!!

Debra Kay said...

I'm with you sb. I almost went maniacal when he was picking up the little dogs. He was being as careful as he could, but lifting a dog over a fence out of a pack of dogs is never a brilliant idea. If he had dropped one of the little ones, there would have been hell to pay.

There is something about a small dog that makes people thing it's ok just to pick it up. How rude. Then they get a bad rep for being bitey.

Moonie is in love with Cookie-the Shitzhu. She was over this morning and we found them curled up in a pot of dirt, happy as clams. In fact, she has replaced me as number one priority for him-his first true obsession. I'll try to get some pictures today-it's cute as can be.

Lavinia said...

Okay I'm getting a clearer picture. Putting one hands over/through a fence and onto someone elses property to pat a dog that clearly does not want to be patted, is a big no-no in my books. A BIG NO NO!!! I have to say this: that guy is an ass!