Dogs Bark and Doors Yellow
By Jane Miller on October 24, 2011
I have a large dog. Sometimes he barks. Go figure. He's a dog. I also moved last year. Nicer house, nicer neighbourhood, fenced yard for said dog. Worse neighbours. At the old place, my neighbours were nosey. John was an army vet who lived across the street. He used to tell me what time I got home if I had been out late the night before. Two houses down Bev lived, an air force vet. He used to give me instructions whenever I mowed the lawn. John and Bev spent hours in one of our driveways with beer or gin arguing which was better the army or the air force. The jury is still out on that one. Many an afternoon's plans got cancelled to do just that. But when I got stuck in the snow early in the morning, the boys showed up with trucks, shovels and tow ropes in hand. When I locked myself out of the house, they jimmied the lock. When I needed a drink, I knew where to go.
I don't know who my new neighbours are. Except that they are cranky, irrational and liars. I know this because in the past year I have received three notices from animal control. Two were about my dog barking. One was about my dog running out of control about the city. Each time I received one, I was outraged. Each time I received one, I called animal control as they "really wanted to talk to me about this matter." Well, I really wanted to talk to them. Each time I called, I got an answering machine. For the first time, today I got a call back.
My dog apparently spends hours outside unattended, barking like a lunatic. News to me. My dog rarely goes outside unless accompanied by one of his people. The most time he has spent outside alone is probably 15 minutes. He barks once and we bring him in. He has never been off leash anywhere in the city. I explained all of this to the actually nice lady who had called.
"Well, what about the morning of Oct. 8th?"
"Oct. 8th? Actually on Oct. 8th my dog was at a kennel 20 minutes outside of the city. I have a receipt."
"Oh. I see. It must have been someone else's dog."
"Yes. It must have."
"Can you keep tabs on when the other dogs around you bark? That way we could have some counter record in case this person complains again?"
So because I have a cranky, irrational lying neighbour, I'm expected to keep tabs on my other neighbours. Because that won't be time-consuming. Or annoying. Or unnecessary.
John and Bev loved my dog. They tried to get him drunk. They fed him chips when they thought I wasn't looking.
So today, I painted my formerly subdued white front door, bright yellow. It stands out. It's loud. Much louder than my dog. Vegan girl saw it after school. "It looks funny." "Good," I grunted. "That's what I was after." Bev and John would like it too.
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