I have to preface this by saying that J and I like our neighbors, we really do. They’re all nice, friendly, quiet. We help each other out, we chat, it’s suburbia at it’s idealist. This morning, however, one of them really frustrated me.
J and I have been experimenting with letting Duncan sleep in places other than the kitchen. He’s done well the last couple of nights, he hasn’t tried to get into bed with us (there’d be no room for us!), he hasn’t chewed anything up, he hasn’t chased the cats or tried to play with Ciera. Last night and this morning he decided to bark. Now, he’s done this before when confined to the kitchen/dining room. There’s a house kind of behind us that has had people outside doing lord only knows what in the middle of the night. And Duncan would bark at them when he sees/hears them. But thankfully it’s not a frequent occurrence. Last night he decided to bark, and this morning he decided to bark. I gave up yelling at him to be quiet at 6 and got up for the day. While I was sitting and watching the news he hopped onto the chair and started looking outside.
I was afraid he was going to start barking again, so I got the squirt bottle, ready to spray him and tell him to be quiet if needed. That’s when I noticed the police out in front of our house talking to the neighbor. I was afraid that maybe Duncan was barking at someone attempting to do bad, after all, J has had his truck broken into once before (ok, it was unlocked and he had forgotten his wallet in there, out in the open). So I went outside, because if it was someone doing bad I had a general idea of the time.
Nope, it wasn’t anyone doing bad. Neighbor guy had called the police because when he took his garbage outside for pick up around 6am he heard a dog barking at him from behind some bushes. He has two young kids and he was concerned that it was a stray dog. A valid concern, however if it was a stray dog it would have either been rushing at him, or running away. I’ve seen some loose/stray dogs in our neighborhood, I’ve tried to catch them. I know they would be visible. It frustrates me that the neighbor, instead of using common sense, decided to go ahead and call the police. He’s also one of those people who is anti-pit, simply based on what he’s seen in the media. J and I are firm believers in it’s not the breed, it’s how the dog is raised. And over the last few years, yes, there has been a lot in the news about Pits and attacks. But before Pits it was another breed. And before that, another breed. There seems to be cycles of negative news about a specific breed.
I know a lot of dog owners are oblivious to issues/dangers/concerns about their dog. They’re convinced that the dog, like their kids, can do no wrong. J and I are not like that. There’s a reason we don’t let Duncan loose in the front yard without being leashed but we will let Ciera loose. There’s a reason we don’t take Ciera to events where there are going to be a lot of other dogs, but Duncan goes. If Duncan had in any way showed aggression towards people in general, or even kids, I would make sure he stays away from them. His idea of aggression is to make sure he can lick as much of a kids face as possible. And that’s only after the kid has let Duncan sniff the hand (at my prompting) and I’ve held Duncan tight and away from the kid until the kid is comfortable.
I just wish that my neighbor wouldn’t be so quick on the draw and would realize that a dog that is bad isn’t because of what breed it is. There are other factors that contribute to that, just like with humans; although some dogs, like people, are just wrong. I’ve seen it happen with breeds that are supposed to be the most family and kid friendly on the planet.