Fortunately, not our door. My next door neighbor is a dog loving angel, and I’m sure I’ll miss her desperately when we move.
My parents, on the other hand, live in the middle of a doggie turf war. Their rural neighborhood is home to a host of free-roaming, easy-living dogs. Their house is at a sharp bend in the road. Their right hand neighbors are separated by a privacy fence that for some mystery reason doesn’t extend all the way to the road. Those people have a chihuahua-type dog. Their left hand neighbors are across the road. They have a larger shaggy black dog and a smaller sleek black dog who is about Silas’s size. Nobody lives directly to the front or the back, and the neighborhood dogs like to roam in those wooded areas. Down the road, a few houses back from the left hand neighbors, are a boxer and a pit bull.
Last time we were home, the pit bull was a new addition to the neighborhood. He was apparently wreaking havoc on the “ownership” of Mom and Dad’s yard, because all the dogs were in her yard constantly. This trip was much better–the black and tan dog is clearly in charge of everything again.
I have to be very, very careful with Silas and these dogs. He does not like the black and tan dog. He got away from me once to chase the boxer, but it seemed more curiosity than anything else. The pit bull is an unknown quantity. All of them wear jingly tags of some sort, so as long as I’m paying attention we’re okay. The problem is, ironically, the chihuahua. I’m slightly more sympathetic to him than the others–his owner is an elderly lady who clearly can’t afford to fence her yard. For a long time, he was only out when she was, but the last few trips I’m seeing him more alone. He darts around the end of that privacy fence lightning fast, and silently.
Because the dog issue seemed to have settled down, I’ve been letting Silas off his leash, as long as there were two people. On previous visits I’ve been having him drag his long line, but after he wrapped it around my leg and left a big burn I stopped. So, we were playing frisbee, and little dog snuck up on me.
Silas chased him all the way back home. The good news is that Silas wasn’t barking or growling at him. Knowing Silas’s preferred games, he was possibly picturing this as a great game of chase. The other good news is that little dog ran right back to his own front porch, where I could actually catch Silas. Even better news is that someone at little dog’s house opened the door while this was happening, and Silas did not bark at him.
Of course, he still blew me off to chase away the dog next door.
Silas did not get to go off leash any more on this trip.