Saturday, June 14, 2008

A Near Miss

I've so beyond had it with my neighbors and their dogs. I haven't walked Toby in the neighborhood since the little Shih Tzu ran up and bit him while we were out front. As a rule I've ignored the two dogs these people own as they run loose in the front yard. I've tried being civil. I've tried being as polite as possible to these people. I don't want them as my enemies - these are the people who just the other day went walking down the street with a baseball bat after someone. I'd rather not have a problem.

But... it's ridiculous when I can't even let my dogs out in the backyard without having to worry now. Why? Because that little dog that attacked him has discovered that are dogs on the other side of our fence. That wouldn't be a problem if she was in her own backyard... we have landscape timbers laid at the bottom of our fence to prevent anyone from going under it. We've taken the precautions. I contain my dogs, I keep them under control when out in public to the best of my ability and they are always on leash. But in our fenced in backyard that is the one place Toby is allowed off leash and to just run around and be a happy dog. I should not have to worry about his sanctuary being breached by some one else's dog.

The only part on our fence that sits off the ground is the double gates dad needs to get his camper in and out. That's it. That's all the way up our drive way, behind our cars, and it barely sits off the ground maybe 3 inches... And yet when I let the dogs out this morning, went to grab a drink, I had to come flying back because Toby was barking up a fit. Toby never barks so when he barks something is up. I go bolting out in the backyard and Reba is snarling away on our deck and Toby is madly attacking the ground near the double gate system. That's when I can hear the barking and snarling of a little dog on the other side.

I yelled leave it as I'm trying to run down the deck to get over to where he is and much to my surprise, he listens! Toby has a stellar leave it with non animate objects... it's a work in progress with live animals. Especially other dogs. But maybe because he thought I was cueing a leave it to the fence he backed off a few feet from it, he kept growling but at least he was no longer trying to claw down the gate. (It's padlocked and with a car pressed up against it, but still...) I get over there and just grab his collar in time to see a little snout of a dog trying to peak in under our fence, little teeth bared.

Oh, I'd had it. I hit the fence and yelled at the dog to get... which resulted in the dog backing off our fence and just standing there barking. Not that I agree my little temper tantrum helped the situation with Toby, he just thought there was even more reason to be snarling at the fence, but it was much better than kicking the dog in the nose... which at that moment was as close to what I wanted to do at that moment (which was give the little dog's owners a kick in the hiney). I led Toby back in and despite a few last huffs at the fence he was fine. Then I turn to go retrieve Reba and see her hopping down the stairs to go take up his post. -laughs- I scooped her up and carried her in. Silly little dog.

I called Animal Control once both dogs were in the house. They came, I reported everything that's happened and they went to have a talk with the neighbors. An hour later... the dogs were out loose again. I have a feeling I'll be making a lot of reports, because I'm done. I'm not about to risk having that dog try and dig it's way under our fence to get at Toby. And as much as I'd like too... I can't guarantee that he wouldn't be out back unsupervised... everyone in my family lets the dogs out and it was a losing battle from the start on that area.

Toby has some of the best manners with little dogs. He modifies his play with them, he's grown up with, he cuts them a GREAT deal more respect and tolerance than any large dog and is all around very good with them. Puppies tend to get the same response from him. But, he doesn't tolerate being bitten. And this little dog seems to have it out for him. This is the third time she's come flying up to where he was at to start something. The first time we were half way down the block on a walk and up she came, thankfully chased off by another neighbor. The second time she came out of nowhere and had the whole bite fiasco. And now she's tried to find her way under the fence to get at him. I've heard her a few times in their back yard too and she chases the fence line snarling but Toby gives up fence fighting rather fast on that side because we've blocked huge sections of it off so he can't get near the fence (from when they still had the large dog before it got loose and attacked a kid).

Some people really should just not have dogs. Those these people shouldn't have kids either. -sighs- Though I've just remembered, I don't think the dogs are licensed... so the next time I call Animal Control that'll be a point I bring up. Maybe a hefty fine will sway them to keep their dogs contained.


Champion of My Heart said...

Any chance you can put up a secondary barrier inside your yard so that fence fighting in that spot isn't an option? Plus, should the tiny biter make its way under somehow, there'd be a secondary fence to contain it.

Toby SHOULD be able to be in his own backyard to relax and run. I think it's a fundamental right.

Val said...

-nods- We're working on putting up a temporary (as in we can move it around as needed) barrier. Mom's thinking of doing a second gate, this chain length, so it's lighter and can rest right against the ground. Then we can lay the landscape timbers behind that (without nailing them into the ground) so we can easily move them... but still have it be inaccessible to the dogs.

I'd have liked to just gate off the drive way so he can't reach that side of the fence-line at all... sadly we can't come up with a way that would work, with the layout we have with the steps. He'd just jump off the stairs over the second fence line if we go that route.

We're redoing that whole gate system later in the summer already because I need a smaller gate to sneak Toby in and out of to get to the safety of our car unharmed/without trouble. -sighs-