We have always had what I thought to be a good relationship with our neighbors across the street. Until last night….
In January, we were blessed with a wonderful chocolate lab. He has fit into the family wonderfully, just like he's always been here. In April we had a run in with another neighbor that hadn't bothered to introduce himself until Shane shot a pellet gun under their little dog to get him out of the yard. (Not long after we got our chickens, he attacked them, did not kill any but didn't want to give him the chance). He drove over in a mad dash and accused us of lying, told us we “better” keep our our dog on our property, etc. (btw, our dogs have NEVER been on his property).
Anyway… last night our across the street neighbor, who we have traded farm chores with if either of us is out of town and visited with several times called and told us Ben bared his teeth at their daughter and that if he did it again, he would KILL the dog. I find this hard to believe– he has never been aggressive with anyone and I've never heard of a lab attacking someone for no reason. (I gave the phone to hubby because I didn't know what to say to him).
Anyway apparently he has been barking at them when they come home and the wife says she spoke to me about it over the fence– the only time I can recall speaking to her recently was when I was leaving in the van and called out a hello and waved. I guess she hollored back about the dog, it was windy and I didn't hear her. Now, they do have our phone number and could have called and talked to us about and we would have gladly taken the dog over and “introduced” them to each other. Or done whatever we needed to do to try to remedy the situation.
Back to last night… the husband said that he kicked up gravel at Ben and told him to go home, it was after that when Ben apparently bared teeth at the daughter. Shane went over and talked to them– in his mind the husband had “talked” to us (instead of shooting the dog then and there I guess), but if calling up threatening to kill our dog is “talking” then I guess I'm an idiot. He said that was they way he was raised (to kill dogs–I guess) and that's the way he is. Well, the way I was raised is you call and talk to someone about a problem in the beginning, before you reach the point of threatening them (or their animals), but I guess our rules don't apply since he has the gun and we don't. (Well okay we do, but wouldn't use it unless absolutely necessary– pellet gun works just fine and doesn't kill the dog).
Shane did take the dog over and they got to know him. But I guess I'll have to keep Ben inside much more often — great life for a huge labrador, huh?
This comes in the wake of being threatened by the other neighbor and having to get rid of our beloved beagle… it's a wonderful country life… NOT. And this neighbor knows what we have gone through with the dogs recently and still no compassion!
In case you're wondering, their 2 dogs, their pig, their ducks have all been on our property at one time or another, never been a big deal to us–but if they shoot their dog, I guess we'll have to live by the rules of the land.
I had heard that these neighbors had problems getting along with others in the neighborhood before we moved in–now I understand why. If their idea of talking is yelling across the fence, or threatening then it's no wonder there have been problems. Great neighborhood huh?