In some ways, having never owned a piece of property puts me in a position to observe behaviors that property owners might never see about themselves. Like how we become viscious dogs when our territorial boundaries are crossed, or Trolls.
I had an encounter yesterday with someone who turned into a frothing dog when I crossed his territorial boundary. Let me lay out the scenario. I am a pet-sitter, and I often take dogs I am care-taking off leash on some country roads behind where I live. Oh, how i love this walk. It goes through a lovely farm area with cattle grazing, and I rarely run into anyone.
However, there is a property that has two dogs that run free (actually, most of the dogs in this area run free), which is generally cool with me, except that one of the dogs is a 6 month old puppy. The owners leave these dogs for many hours at a time, maybe up to and over 14 hours. The puppy follows anyone who walks by because it’s fun and he is lonely. I spoke with a neighbour there and she often has to drive the puppy home and leave in the car or he will follow her home again.
About a month ago I was walking with one of my dogs and puppy decided to follow me. I walked back to the property and called to see if anyone was home. I knocked on the door. No one was home. There was a back fenced area that I put doggy in but he quickly escaped. I knew he would follow me all the way home, which includes a busy road. That wouldn’t do. So I eventually decided to open the door of the house and put the dog in. First mistake. It is illegal to open someone’s door. The fact that I probably would have been charged with dog-knapping if I brought him home was my seemingly only other option.
I mistakenly assumed that the owner of the dog would appreciate that I cared enough for his dog to try to make the best decision about his welfare in a dicey situation. I was wrong.
Yesterday, I was walking along the road again and puppy excitedly followed me again. Again, there was no one home on the property, so I put the dog in the house again. As I was leaving the property the woman showed up. I spoke with her about the dog and the troubles I (and others) were having. She wasn’t coming up with any working scenarios, so I gave her my business card and asked her to call me with a solution when she had it. I wanted to help her out, and I didn’t want to put puppy in jeopardy.
That evening, her foaming-at-the-mouth husband called me and screamed at me that he was calling the police and charging me with break and enter and burglary. I begged (yes) him to see that I had the best interests of his dog in mind, and to soften his stance, but he repeated the American Property Act to me. This was one redneck motherfucker.
Of course, I was totally traumatized by the event, and had to process terror, grief and rage over this. I also had an interesting experience when he was threatening me. My lower back became completely weak; not being able to stand up for myself.
He demanded my address, which I did not give him, and he hung up on me. A day later and a sleepless night, I am seeing some things, such as that I assume people are generally friendly and well meaning, like me. Wrong. That most people generally want to work things out. Not always correct either. That sometimes with the law set up the way it is, a Good Samaritan act can get you in a shitload of trouble. Right. This is America. Land of the Paranoid and Heartless.
So I don’t know if he is really going to send the cops over, or whether he just wanted to get rid of me walking by his house by intimidation. He certainly did that. So really, he achieved his aim. He doesn’t have to do anything about his negligence toward the caring for his puppy. It will be a while, if ever, before I walk up that way again. As well, I realized that I do have some power here. I have the power to report him to the dog control or humane society and have his dog removed from him. This is so not me, but if push came to shove, who knows. Mostly, I just want redneck assholes like him removed from our dear Earth, so the thoughtful, nice, caring people with the ability to discern a neighborly act can be left to work out their differences. Bye Bye Assholes. You won’t be missed.