Tuesday, May 12, 2009

The Un-Neighborly Neighbor


I had a post for today, a post mother's day post if you will, but after what just happened to me, that one will have to wait.

I've told you before how much I love where I live.  The mountains, the ocean, the tight-knit community.   But with every silk lining, I guess there comes a black cloud.

And today, I ran smack into one.

I was on my regular walk with my two Labradors, Greta and Peanut.  On the way up, toward the crest of a tall hill, there are two gated properties.  Two properties.  Three dogs.  Every time I pass these homes, I veer off the sidewalk and a bit into the street to make a safety zone between my dogs and the other three.  I can't go too far into the street because it is a narrow, winding road at the top of a hill and, though visibility is slim, cars still drive at full speed.

The three dogs came up to their gates, as they often do, pushing their snouts through the wrought iron and barking.  If my dogs were off leash, we could walk by without a hitch, but on leash, Peanut, my almost 2 y.o. rescue, still has issues when confronted by another dog.

No matter.  I've been there, done that.   I had the situation under control and we walked by with little more than a yank and a skip.

Until we returned on the way down.

That's when all the dogs went berserk.

There was barking, growling, lurching, twisting.  I was in the street, attempting to get some distance but, instead, I got caught up in a tightening snare of leashes, bared teeth and furry muscle. 

Just then a woman came out of her home about 100 feet up the hill and said something to me. 

"What?" I replied, cupping my hand to my ear trying to block out the dogs, "I can't hear you."

"I saw you hit your dog," she repeated.

Taken aback (I assumed she was going to ask if I needed some help),  I responded, "I did NOT hit my dog."

"I saw you," she accused, pointing her finger at me as she further threatened, "and if you do it again I'm going to call the police."  

With that she turned around and went out of sight denying me the chance to prove my innocence.  To tell her, what anyone who knows me already knows, that I am a HUGE dog lover.  That I go above and beyond to take excellent care of my dogs whom I would NEVER abuse.

I didn't get to say any of that.

As soon as I untangled myself and began the descent toward home,  my blood started to boil.  My heart started to race.  My breathing got tight.  I began to think of all the things I should have said had I been quicker to the draw.

So I did what any falsely accused person would do...

I screamed back at her at the top of my lungs:




Okay, maybe not ANY falsely accused person, but THIS falsely accused person.


A bit later, I'm finding it interesting, worthy of some analysis, that I was so enraged by a stranger.  I know I didn't hit my dog but I am livid that she doesn't know it, too.   This woman walked into her house convinced that I was a dog abuser.  She's telling people, as I'm telling you, that she encountered some crazy woman who screamed insults at her from halfway down the block when all she was trying to do was protect a dog.

Well, at least I have my readers, who will hear my truth.  There is some vindication in that.  And at least now, having let it all out, I won't go back and leave a nasty, turd encrusted note in her mailbox.


Maternal Mirth said...

Why is it that the most unworthy people "get our goat". Or in your case TRY to get your dog.

I sincerely hope your next walk goes better.

Andrea's Sweet Life said...

Ooof. I HATE it when things like that happen, it's just so infuriating.

I know you wouldn't hit your dog, lovely lady.

thedailysnark said...

A couple of years ago I had two dogs—one was older and could walk on a leash without any problem. The other one, Max, was a puppy and hadn't quite figured it all out. As we were walking, something caught Max's attention and he crossed in front of me, got tangled in the other leash, got ME tangled in the other leash and I tripped and fell in the street. I'm sure I swore loudly. And I slapped my hand down on the asphalt because I was hurt and sort of irritated.

An older woman and her husband came out of their house and started screaming at me. "We saw you smack your dog. We're calling the police. You better stay there!!" The older man came out to make sure I didn't go anywhere and started to lecture me about beating my dogs. I was so furious. I started to argue with him and realized there was no way I was going to win this. So I got up out of the middle of the street, corralled the dogs and left.

The man followed me home.

At this point I lost it. I was trying to be nice about it, but following me home and calling his wife on the cell to let her know where I live so she could tell the police where to find me? That was it. I told him to leave or I would file a complaint. He did, but the damn cops showed up at my door. I explained what happened and they looked at the dogs peacefully sleeping inside and left.

I would never hit my dogs. In fact, I totally spoil them rotten. I was so angry that anyone would ever think such a thing. But people see what they want to see, I guess.

Needless to say I don't walk down their street anymore.

Magpie said...

I hate it when perfect strangers piss me off like that. It gets my blood boiling, and then I just feel silly for being so upset.

Lisa said...

GAH, I hate when complete strangers get me that pissed off. I especially hate it when I think of a great come back long after they are out of ear shot.

clairelc6 said...

What happened to the days where people assumed things for the better instead of worse. Maybe she needs to have the dog whisperer come and give her some ativan and her dogs some training.
People need to get their thumbs out of their asses.
I used to walk three dogs at time, an older husky, a yellow lab pup and a husky puppy...the ground and i became friends REAL fast.

anywho enough ranting.
hope this was not offensive. Just commiserating with you.

Manic Mommy said...

That is just crazy. I've written three different sentences that went nowhere. I'll just leave it at this: People are effed up.

My Bottle's Up! said...

what a fucking nut-bag!!!!

i'm glad you yelled back.

stupid bitch!!!!

(her... not you).

Christy said...

I always wonder why what another person thinks can matter so much to me--even when I know they're full of shit! I guess we all have our moments like that.

The nasty, turd encrusted note in the mailbox would've been a nice touch! Lol

TentCamper said...

I totally get you. As a multipule dog owner and lover I know how much that would piss me off.

I would have turned right back up the hill and knocked on her door.

Great post!

anymommy said...

This kind of confrontation drives me nuts, where you are in the right and there's no way to prove it.

Well, here's all I can give you, I read this and I absolutely believe she's crazy!!

Elizabeth said...

I'm new to your blog and this post made me laugh out loud. I look forward to reading on...

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