Monday 24 Oct 2016

Meeting Neighbours
Jennifer Flaten

When you move into a new neighborhood, you want to make a good impression on your new neighbors. Sadly, this is something we never quite manage to get right.

Our neighbour’s first impression of us usually involves either a child attempting grievous bodily harm on a sibling or me threatening grievous bodily harm to the children if they don’t, “Stop that right now.”

It’s not as if we can’t do our own reputation enough harm, now we have the puppy. Yes, normally puppies are cute, sweet and for the most part innocent, except for the part where they eat your favorite shoes, but not our puppy.

No, our puppy is actually the devil in a very small dog suit. Part of the problem the dog has entered her teenage years. Just like a human teenager, our dog is happy one moment, ready to rip your face off the next moment. She is also defiant. Obeying is for wimpy dogs!

Take for example a recent hot Thursday afternoon. When someone, it’s like the mafia no one knows anything, left the door from the house to the garage open, which wouldn‘t be so bad except the garage door was also open. The dog just wandered outside. She didn’t even have to try to be naughty.

You would think that someone would have noticed the missing pooch sooner, but two kids were in the penalty box for fighting and the remaining kid had disappeared to parts unknown.

Luckily, I heard her tags jingling outside, little known fact, just like moms know their own kids cries, dog owners can identify their dogs by the jingling of their tags, which was very weird because she was supposed to be inside comatose on the couch.

I look outside and what to my wondering eyes should appear, but an unleashed dog. I ran outside in an attempt to wrangle her before she took off.

Hoping to forestall a romp through the neighborhood, I called her. For one moment, I thought she would actually come, but as she took one-step towards me she realized, “Hey, I am off leash,” gave a big doggie laugh and sprinted out of the yard.

Yes, after only about 12 days in the neighborhood my neighbours got to witness me charging down the street after my dog. After a very merry, for the dog only, romp through most of my new neighbours’ yards, I managed, with a great assist by kid #1 to tackle the dog about six houses down. 

At this point, please let me offer this bit of advice if someone yells, “Stop that dog!” for heaven’s sake stop the dog. Don’t stand by idly as the woman chases the dog around and around your mulberry bush.

Also, please don’t attempt to introduce yourself to the lady chasing the dog while she is chasing the dog. Moreover, no, she isn’t going to shake your hand, no matter how impolite it is if it means losing her grip on the dog.

I would also advise you not to take it personally when she has no desire to stand around and chat about the local schools while holding a said hot, squirming dog. All she wants to do is get her sweaty, grass stained self-home.

Jennifer Flaten lives where the local delicacy is fried cheese, Wisconsin. She writes about family life, its amusing or not so amusing moments. "At least it's not another article on global warming," she says. Jennifer bakes a mean banana bread and admits an unusual attraction to balloon animals and cup cakes. Busy preparing for the zombie apocalypse, she stills finds time to write "As I See It," her witty, too often true column. "My urge to write," says Jennifer, "is driven by my love of cupcakes, with sprinkles on top. Who wouldn't write for cupcakes, with sprinkles," she wonders.

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