Wednesday, October 18, 2006

If he were my kid, he'd SO be grounded

This morning before 8 I got a phone call from the neighbor up the road. I was online so I called her back from my cell phone. Her voice was shaking. I immediately thought something was wrong with either her or one of the kids. Oh, something was wrong alright, but it was one of my family members causing her to call and be angry.

Jake the dog, not one of the fruits of my loins. Do I even have loins? I guess I do, but I tend to think of loins as primarly male, don't you? And besides, I'm guessing you'd probably already know that my children don't run amuck in the neighborhood all willy-nilly and stuff.

We've had Jake since he was 6 weeks old. We hadn't lived in this house very long when we got him, so he's kind of established his territory as we've established ours. He's a good dog, very protective of the kids, he kept the stinky septic tank guy from viciously attacking me with his smelly work glove and he barks when anyone drives in. He's not so good at protecting us from man-eating racoons and possums, but hey, we all have our faults.

Oh wait....Jake has one more fault - HE CHEWS ON AND STEALS THE NEIGHBOR'S STUFF. For the last year or so, Jake has decided that what is at their house should be at our house and if it's not nailed down, he steals it. Oh, it was cute at first. In fact, in the beginning we couldn't figure out how their daughter's four-square ball kept getting up here. It can get windy sometimes, but there's a little patch of woods between the houses and it isn't that windy. Then one morning we went out to find a decorative scarecrow and a big green watering can. Hmh. Cute. Sure is windy 'round here these days. Windy enough to blow a scarecrow through the woods even. Sometimes we are not the brightest bulbs in the chandelier.

One day, the neighbor laughingly said, "You know that Jake steals stuff from us, right?" We replied like all parents/owners in denial reply, "Uhh.....yeah.....ha ha ha....silly dog, isn't he? (Honey, did you know that Jake's stealing from the neighbors? No? Me either.) Yep, that Jake, he's a rascal." A few weeks later, we went out in the morning to find the scarecrow had returned and so had the watering can, along with the cushions off of their outdoor swing, several balls, a length of plastic decorative fence and a cowboy boot. It was then that we loaded up their stuff in the truck, apologized with red faces and gave them permission to shoot our dog in the butt with a shotgun if they caught him up there. And if we caught him bringing anything home, we'd shoot him, too. We've known these people for years and years, we trusted them to not just go all crazy and shoot the dog for no reason. We wanted our dog to stop stealing because if our kids were stealing then by cracky, we'd expect the neighbors to shoot them in the butt with a shotgun, too. Oh wait. No. We wouldn't want them to shoot the kids. Nevermind. Forget I said that.

They were hesitant about shooting our dog and frankly, we understood, but we were adamant. Short of us camping out in their yard so we could catch him ourselves and shoot him ourselves, we didn't know of a better solution. I like camping just as much as the next guy, but copping a squat in their yard all camoed and stealthy-like just wasn't on my agenda.

But this morning ol' Jake crossed a line. I guess last night he chewed up a $50 bottle of horse medicine and then this morning they caught him red-pawed chewing the seat of their brand new lawn tractor to shreds. Shreds, I say!! I asked her if they'd been shooting him when they caught him. She said her husband had popped him with the bb gun a time or two, but no, not the shotgun. Agh. I told her I was sending Paul up immediately and promptly hung up the phone, threw open the front door and to the cowering dog, peeing all over himself at my feet yelled, "YOU ARE SO DEAD!" And of course, this statement sent Kady running to me where she threw her arms around my knees and said, "Jakey's DEAD??? OHHHHH NOOOOOO! Wait. Siwwy Momma, he's wight thewe!"

Paul went up the road and honestly, not that I think my neighbor's a liar or anything, but I was expecting Paul to come home saying that Jake had maybe gnawed a little spot on the seat cover and that things were blown out of proportion. But no, instead Paul called me from his cell phone, his voice shaking now when he said, "That stupid (cursing) tore that seat to shreds!" And of course, because my husband is a man with a very colorful vocabularly, there were many more expletives, descriptive words and curses galore.

We are now going to replace anywhere from $300 to $500 worth of destruction that our stupid canine son has wreaked on their property. It's only right. They've put up with his antics longer than most neighbors would have and I have to give them that, but Paul's patience has run out. Not to mention the fact that we are having a hard time buying our kids new winter clothes, but now we're having to fork over hundreds of dollars to mend not only their things but what might be left of a relationship so that things remain neighborly out here on Hudson Creek.

When he brought Li'l Divinity this morning, I asked Mr. Divinity if he knew much about dogs. Poor guy. He's not a big talker, that man, but his hysterical babysitter attacked him with queries about dogs and property damage this morning. He said that getting him fixed might slow him down, but considering his age, it might not. Dang.

I want to ground him, tie him up awhile. Paul wants to kill him. I hope I win this one.


Queen Of Cheese said...

Mr.Coach will give a neighbor dog "lead sickness" if it comes to close. It's either enough to cure it from wandering or kill it, either way it hopefully won't be back to make a buffet out of the goldfish pond. In your defense, the neighbor should have drawn the line a long time ago and punished Jake however they saw fit. Poor Jake, he's just collecting cool stuff for you all and you don't even appreciate it......

Cap'n Neurotic said...

Hmm, must be something about naming a dog "Jake" that makes it a troublemaker. I'm sure that if my roomie's dog Jake could get out and about we'd have a backyard filled with pilfered possessions as well.

Kellyology said...

Alrighty...yet another confirmation of my decision not to have pets! Good luck!

Hillbilly Mom said...

Our neighbor's dog is like your Jakie. We know we can't leave muddy shoes on the porch. We know the ceramic rabbits and squirrels are going to disappear from HH's rock garden (bless that mutt), and we know that in the summer he will climb into the fake fish pond and try to eat the giant goldfish. We DIDN'T know that he would rip out the pump and drag it into the yard. Those poor fish were gasping for air.

We shoot at that demon dog with the BB gun, but he mocks us. He turns to look condescendingly over his shoulder. You can see the BBs bounce off his thick Lab fur. HH won't shoot him with anything stronger. Back in the days before HH ran over Cubby, Cubby and his sister Ann would chase that dog back home. They would even tackle him in our knock him down. Now Ann lets him come over.

I blame HH.

Carrie said...

What if you took a bunch of your stuff over to the neighbor's house, so Jake would think he's stealing, but he'd just be bringing your stuff back. I would make it things that you didn't really like, just in case you never saw them again. Just an idea. HA HA

Cazzie!!! said...

What about making a wire run in the back yard that he can be tied up to and there he can run up and down it all he likes. You can then take him for walks when you are able to and you will know where he is at all times. My nan and pop did it for their German Shepard that ate some neighbours' chooks. It certainly tamed him and they knew where he was..alive too!!

Stewed Hamm said...

At least he didn't call anyone "dude," right?

Redneck Diva said...

Mrs. Coach, we thought we made it clear to them that we expected him to get peppered, but obviously they didn't understand. Or they just wanted to get $500 from us. :-)

Cap'n Neurotic, it must be the name! I have no other way to explain it!

Kelly, wise choice.

Hillbilly Mom, it's so hard to discipline a dumb animal. I meant the dog, not HH.

Carrie, ROFL! Only you would think of that.

The other day Tater said, "You can't get rid of Jake. It's taken me 5 years to train him to steal from the neighbors. I don't want to have to start over with a new dog."

Cazzie!!, for now he's chained to a tree. I hate it with everything in me. We're just waiting to find him the right new home, a home with no close neighbors who insist on putting their in-heat breeder dog in the stock trailer.

Stewed Hamm, I dunno. I bet when he was chewing up that tractor seat he was grumbling, "Dude! I am so damn horny and that little bitch is playing hard to get and damn, but this is tasty leather!" Or maybe not.....

We....the people

Originally published in The Miami News-Record, July 2020 Everything is different now. I’m not just talking about masks and social distancing...