I've told you all before about the neighbor who hates my dogs...all dogs...and how I went
on him a year or two ago for yelling at my dogs...I tried to find the old post, to link to, but it is buried beyond retrieval.
The Reader's Digest history: A guy and his wife moved in kiddie-corner behind us, so the southwest corner of our back yard touches the northeast corner of his back yard.
Immediately after moving in he pulled out all the mature landscaping around his house - we assume because he was afraid of termites - cut down the 40' pine tree between our houses (we know he was afraid it would fall on his house...another neighbor shared that tidbit) and cleared every BIT of noise-reducing vegetation between his house and my yard.
Then he complained to all the neighbors - not to us - that he could hear our dogs bark.
Hubster and Asshole, as he's affectionately known around Chez City, have had words. Many Words about how Asshole complained about us to all the neighbors who, btw, did not sympathize with him. Because we ALL have dogs. Except for Asshole.
They also argued because Asshole threatened my dogs with Oscar Meyer products and antifreeze.
A year after he moved in he cut down a half-dozen 80-year-old oak trees on the street around his house (he lives on a corner) and pissed off all the old timers in the neighborhood. Talk about Persona Non Grata. Aaaand by cutting down the trees he displaced about 100 squirrels. So the squirrels came into our yard.
I'll give you one guess as to what my dog - a Lab-mix - does when she sees squirrels in the yard.
Yessiree, Bob. She chases them and she barks at them and she feels good about herself. She now, in an effort to keep the neighborly peace, wears a bark collar. A shock-bark collar because HE cut down the bushes, cut down the trees and created a squirrel diaspora.
And he thinks HE's the victim here.
It's been about a year since I was playing in the yard with the dogs one evening, throwing tennis balls, and the dog - the waaaaay laid back one - was yipping at me (he's a shepherd, so you know a YIP coming out of his pipes is playful) to throw the ball to him.
All of a sudden Asshole comes storming out his back door and starts screaming in my general direction, "Shutupshutupshutup! Dammit SHUT UP!"
Naturally, I screamed back at him. A stream of obscenities his Baptist ears probably never heard before. I went deaf and blind and when it was over, I wasn't even sure what I'd said.
Fortunately, Hubster and all the other neighbors were outside that evening and were able to reenact the scene for my benefit...and their continued entertainment.
A year or more has passed since that last encounter.
Until last night.
Asshole was visiting nice new neighbor with new dog in the other yard that's kiddie-corner to ours. Undoubtedly he was warning new neighbor about barking and the noise ordinance.
I'm in the shower and I hear both my dogs go mental. Even the quiet shepherd was LOUD.
So out I jump, put on clothes and run barefoot out the back door to find Asshole cutting across the yard behind ours, coming toward our fence, taunting my dogs, "That's it, bark. Bark. Bark. Bark. All you do is bark."
At this point I'm not sure it's Asshole and I'm dumbfounded. A guy is walking TOWARD our yard, using a taunting voice, and...what does he expect? The dogs are going to freaking bark at him.
ITS. THEIR. JOB.
By the time I get the shepherd by the collar to bring him into the house, I'm right on the other side of the fence, and at this point I know it's Asshole because I recognize the whiny tone and he's walking toward his house.
All the while, still taunting, "Bark, bark, bark. Go ahead and bark. All you do is bark."
So I said, loudly, "You. Are. Fucking. Ridiculous."
Louder he says, "BARK. BARK. BARK."
This is a grown man with a PhD in something. Computers. Proctology....
So I told the dogs: "BARK AT THE BAD MAN. THAT'S IT. BARK AT THE BAD MAN."
I sunk. All the way down to his level. Again.
Say what you want to me, Asshole, because I will verbally reduce you to Shredded Wheat. But pick on my dogs and I'm mentally back in the 4th grade along with you....
So that was upsetting. Not just because I had to deal with him, but because I sank.
Sink. Sank. Sunk.
The new guy behind me? She doesn't bark at him. The new people next door? Doesn't bark at them. Guy on the other side of us who has parties in his yard every weekend? Doesn't bark at them. Asshole who has lived here now for 4 years? Can't not bark at him.
It's what dogs do. They sniff each others backsides all day. She knows an asshole when she smells one.
My secret joy is that we rented the house next door, which is directly behind Asshole, to a couple with a Pomeranian who Never. Stops. Yapping.