Sunday, February 24, 2008

Next-Dog Neighbors

I have to explain that I tend to be more of a cat person. I enjoy the company of dogs, but they're an awful lot more work than I would like in a pet. That being said, I do enjoy spending time with other people's dogs

My DW has been complaining of late about our next-dog neighbors. Our next-door neighbor lets them out in the morning when she gets up so that they can go do their business. However, dogs will be dogs and they tend to bark. Unfortunately, this tends to be at around 5:00 AM. This tends to wake DW up, but not me, so I generally don’t have any complaints.

They’re pretty good dogs, overall, and their owner is very responsible. They’ve got a fenced in play yard and she cleans it up after them. There is a chocolate lab, a golden retriever and a mixed hound with some beagle in him… The last one is aptly named “Barkley”.

Since they moved in here, both dogs and owners have come to know us and like us. If I’m outside doing something, the dogs will come over to the fence and bark for attention. This can be if I’m out playing with the kids, doing gardening work, emptying the compost from the kitchen, snow-blowing, even just coming home from work. They do appreciate the attention.

Across the street, there is a schnauzer/dachshund mix named Graham. He's got the whiskers of the schnauzer, but is a low-rider due t0 the dachshund part. Being the low-rider that he is, I'm always amazed that Graham seems to love being out in the snow. The deeper the snow, the better he seems to like it. He's sort of a "dog-marine" in the snow sometimes with his nose and tail almost the only part of him showing like a snorkel. Graham is very friendly and when he's out on a walk, he likes to come over for belly rubs. He's pretty enthusiastic when he comes over - not only does the tail wag, but the whole darn dog seems to wag. He is also a lazy dog and seems to want to stop for a break every 30 yards or so...

We had another next-dog neighbor move away last year. Her name was Lola and she was a black lab. Lola was very friendly and after we moved in and got to know her, she would make a bee-line over to me if I was outside for ear and belly rubs. One day I was working in the back yard and the rest of the family was in the front yard talking to one of Lola’s owners. My daughter opened the door and Lola followed her in looking for me. When she sussed out that I wasn’t in the house, she looked around the garage. When I finally came around the back of the house, she just zipped over to me and sad down in front of me, waiting for attention.

At our last house, the dog behind us was a hound. I mean hound in the true sense of the word. It would howl. I mean HOWL. Incessantly. At all hours of the day and night. In my opinion, the poor dog wasn’t really taken care of very well and while not abused physically, was abandoned outside for long stretches of time all year round. It made us very sad to see, but there wasn’t much we could do about it. If you're going to have a pet, you should take care of it!

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