You would think from the title that this is being penned by someone who hates dogs. That isn’t the case. I have a huge appreciation for dogs, though I might step short of calling myself a dog lover. I am writing this because I’m pragmatic and am looking at having dogs in an objective manner.
When I was in fourth grade I got a dog. Her name was Lady. She died my senior year in high school and it was very traumatic. Many tears were shed. Since Lady, I’ve had close association with three dogs. All were good dogs but I haven’t bonded with them like I did Lady.
I’ve had my most recent dog (Rue) for six years now. She is a good dog: very loving and fairly obedient. She is what I would consider typical. She likes to run away sometimes. Lightning storms cause her to roam. She barks when she thinks there is a ripple in the time space continuum.
I try to be a good dog owner. Rue has a shock collar for when she barks. I have a buried electronic fence to keep her in the yard. I would classify myself as a responsible dog owner. Though, I don’t know if my neighbors would agree. She certainly causes trouble from time to time and I’m sure I don’t know about every incident.
I’ve tried very hard to be aware and attentive to the negative externalities that go along with owning a dog. I don’t believe that because I have a dog, my neighbors should have to deal with the hassles of ownership.
Over the last few years I have come to the conclusion that people shouldn’t have outdoor pets in an urban setting.
You may ask; why do you still have a dog? It’s complicated but basically I don’t plan on getting another dog when Rue dies. I’ve decided not to get rid of Rue at this point. The kids want to keep her.
Recently I came to realize the amount of trouble dogs have caused in our neighborhood. Here is a quick list.
- Renters had a dog in a “no pets” apartment. When they were evicted they had hard feelings.
- Huge dog poops on neighbor’s front yard. Neighbor starts tossing it over the fence after communication fails.
- Dog barks in the middle of the night. Woman shows up on owner’s front porch at 2am very upset.
- Little dog does his business on neighbors front yard. The neighbor sees it happen and sees the owner ignore it and hard feelings begin.
- Pit bull gets out. Goes to neighbor’s yard and locks onto neighbor’s dog’s neck. Have to pry them apart with a broom stick.
- Two dogs barking at night for years. Aggravates neighbors.
- Two dogs in a kennel and their poop isn’t cleaned up. Neighbors smell it from their yard.
- Stray male dog impregnates female dog. Several cases.
- Dogs barking all the time for years.
- Dog poops in neighbor’s yard.
- Dog kills or attacks chickens. Three different cases.
- Dog roams someone else’s yard.
- Dog rips into someone’s garbage can.
- Dog barks constantly at night.
- Dog poops in neighbor’s yard. House 1.
- Dog poops in neighbor’s yard. House 2.
- Dog poops in neighbor’s yard. House 3.
- Dog poops in neighbor’s yard. House 4. Dozens of times.
- Dog poops in neighbor’s yard. House 5. Dozens of times.
- Dog jumps on side of truck and scratches paint.
- Dog scares children.
- Dog takes off with shoe.
- Dog chases neighbor.
- Neighbor calls police for dog barking. I know of two cases where this occurred. In one case a fist fight nearly starts.
- Dog and cat get in a scuffle. I know of two cases of this. In both events the dog was hurt and cat is fine.
I put this list together in under five minutes. How many more events have I forgotten? How many more have I not heard about? These are all cases where a neighbor was bothered enough that they mentioned it to others. This doesn’t include the myriad of times I saw dogs in my yard whose owners I didn’t know. It’s probably safe to say that if you want to be the subject of neighborhood conversations–get a dog. It’s very effective.
Don’t get me wrong. I live in a great neighborhood. Everyone gets along. However, I can think of no other issue that generates more anger and frustration. Use of the street, yard maintenance, loud music, …..all other issues combined do not compare to the frustration created by dogs in the neighborhood.
Is it really worth it?
Check out Wade Blasingame the dog lawyer.