hydrangea blossoming

hydrangea blossoming
Hydrangea on the Edge of Blooming

Saturday, July 7, 2012

An Encounter with the Law, Sort of

Saturday morning, 10 a.m.: I'm sitting at my computer, next to a window.  Outside the window, I notice a big, black, short-haired dog walking into my backyard.  In a few moments, he's on the porch.  I yell at him and he goes back into the yard.  Then, another dog, same kind but shorter and stockier, shows up.  Then there's a third one, more of the same kind, but this time with a distinct curl to his tail.  And then, I realize that the Deputy Sheriff's dogs are on the loose.

These are barkers, normally.  You walk by their steel-fenced-in yard, they carry on at full voice until you go away.  Which is more than a little trying if you live across the street from them, as I do, and frequently go in and out of your yard toward the street.  I yell at them, with great regularity, to "STFU" (but only with the letters, not the words since they obviously don't understand either one), and they keep on barking.

Maybe they are phenomenally, beautifully trained animals.  But, so far, I've seen no sign of this, so I suspect they may not be too good at just roaming around.  Unfortunately, though it's 10 a.m., I'm still in my bathrobe but nevertheless I put on shoes and trail outdoors to see what I can do to get them to put themselves back inside their fence.

The Sheriff's Steel Gate has been left open and, as far as I can tell, it opens and shuts only with electric signals.  I have no such signals to offer it, and even if it could be closed by hand, my hand probably wouldn't be strong enough to close it.  What to do?  What to do in my bathrobe at the side of the street on a Saturday morning?

I yelled at the dogs and waved my hands around in the direction of their returning home and, to my surprise, they sort of move in that direction.  More yelling, more waving, and they reluctantly get themselves inside the fence.  BUT, when I started inside the fence to go to their owners to tell them the gate was open, they let out their full barking capacity very quickly and the biggest of them started charging me in short thrusts.  I got back into the road quickly and started yelling, "Sheriff people!  Your dogs are out, your gates are open!"  No response, so I yelled louder a few more times while the dog continued his mini-thrusts at me as I got too close for his comfort.

A truck passed by, slowed down, apparently confused by the crazy lady yelling in the street with dogs barking at her.  I waved, pointed at the dogs, conveyed the message, "What to do?" by gesture.  He shrugged his shoulders and drove away.  The dogs, meanwhile made their way to the farthest-back house.  And so, realizing I had no further options, I made my way back home.

If they were real neighbors, I would be able to call them on the phone or send them an email or text them or something.  But they aren't; so I left them to their own devices, as they seem to want to be left.  A half-hour later when I check, the gate is closed. "It's Chinatown, Jake," I say to myself; not my problem.

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