The barking neighbor

We have a dog. She is a great dog. She has one horrible habit… she loves the trash can. And when I mean loves it, I mean she would choose the trashcan over escaping a burning building, or rescuing her family, or drinking water in a parched desert.

We have done a hundred million things to thwart (oh, I like that word) her love affair with Oscar the Grouch – trashcan. We have put it on top of our island in our kitchen – she mysteriously found a way to climb on the island and knock it over. We put a heavy object on the lid – she knocked that off the top and enjoyed the trash to her heart’s content. We relocated it – she found it and literally slept on the floor next to it. 

Not only does this precious loving dog get into the trash, she has her own picnic in the backyard. Complete with napkins, plastic forks, sometimes paper plates, and yes, whatever she can drag through the doggie door. I’ve found all kinds of stuff out in our yard – the kind of stuff that I know I threw away the night before… makes for interesting lawn mowing for Mr. Dash.

Last night was cool and as my barking neighbor put it – damp. Damp? Really? It’s slightly misting outside… it’s not Seattle buddy. Anyway, we had put Doggie Dash in her crate before we embarked on Baby Dash’s dance class. When we arrived home, Doggie Dash had puked in it. YUCK! Apparently the 40 chocolate chip cookies she dug up, did not agree with her tender tummy. I put Doggie Dash in the cold, damp, lonely, dark backyard while I resurrected her crate and cleaned up the newly laid carpet. She was outside for like 45 minutes whining like a big baby. C’mon, she is a dog. She loves her backyard. It’s huge and she during the day, she spends hours outside running circles. It wasn’t snowing. It wasn’t pouring down rain. And the only reason she was whining about it, was she could see inside and wanted to be with her trashcan pack.

Ding. Dong. Our doorbell rings at 9:28 pm. Right in the middle of The Voice. Riveting TV watching and one of my many guilty pleasures. Baby Dash was about to go to bed and Mr. Dash and I were relaxing on the couch laughing at Blake Shelton and his crazy sense of humor… Really? Who dareth ringth the door bellth and come to my houseth to complainth?

Why it is my lovely barking neighbor. Barking Neighbor (BN) has left annoymous notes on our door to complain about the dog barking. Ummm, we didn’t even have a dog at the time he did that little passive aggressive neighborly thing. He has threatened my son when he assumed my son was playing music too loud – my son was in the backyard, in the middle of the day, mowing the lawn. BN apparently does not like the Dash family for one reason or another. We have never done anthing to BN and we still don’t know why he has this tremendous dislike of our family. He immediately started in on how we are mistreating our dog. And it’s too cold and damp outside for her. And that we have left her out all night. (umm, what?) I put her outside less than an hour ago to clean her puke, buddy. Wanna see the remains (in the trash can of course)? He proceed to lecture us on the care of our dogs and how as responsible pet owners, we should know better. We asked him if it was the whining that was bothering him… we asked him if she was barking and causing a commotion. To which, he replied, No. I just don’t think you are treating your dog properly.

Look Mister Barking Neighbor – I’ve raised 5 kids. 3 of them have gone on to college and successful careers. One 10 year old Baby Dash isn’t far beyond. I’m pretty sure that I can handle my four legged family member. I didn’t lock her outside in the damp cold air all night, without food, without shelter, without water, without a loving family inside. (mind you it’s 63 degrees) She is a dog. She is upset because she can’t be in the house kissing her trashcan. She is upset that she can see her true love through the window but can’t be next to it. And that last thing I need is some barking neighbor coming over to bitch at me about my dog (who isn’t barking and isn’t howling and isn’t reeking havoc in the neighborhood – which he clearly confirmed previously) I’m thankful you didn’t come over 10 minutes later and wake Baby Dash or I would be screaming neighbor. And you Mr. BN would be getting a lecture on how not to be an asshole and wake small children with your annoying and pointless complaining.

After the confrontation, Mr. Dash and I shared in our lividness. If Barking Neighbor had come over with the best laid intentions instead of the holier than thou mentality, it would have been much more well received. If he would have listened when we explained what was going on with Doggie Dash instead of interrupting to talk about things that happened two years ago or things that he had no idea about it, we would have responded in kind. However, he had an axe to grind and we were the tree he wanted to grind it on. We take care of our dogs. We take care of our kids. We take care of our house. We pay our taxes. We mow our lawn. We stay out of other people’s business.
Why is it that others feel this huge compulsion to interfere in other people’s lives? What gives BN the right to come over and tell us that we aren’t treating our dog properly? Why do people in the grocery store feel the need to look down at larger people and condemn their cart and the person  with their eyes? Do I really need your parenting advice while my child is throwing her 4 temper tantrum is 10 minutes? How can some complete stranger come up to a pregnant woman and start touching her stomach? Really? Why is there this huge invasion of privacy? I didn’t invite you into my bubble. Don’t feel like you should invite yourself. Mind your own business and stay out of mine. I have enough people to deal with on a daily basis and you Mr. BN are not on my list. 

And next time you come over to my house at 9:30 and attempt to lecture me on how to take care of my pets… you will find yourself being taken care of by the sheriff! So go bark at someone else.