Meet “Boomer”

7 06 2008

I’m not sure what breed of dog “Boomer” is, unless Big, Aggressive, and Annoying is a breed. Whenever we express our misgivings about this vicious beast, our neighbor (the dog’s owner) assures us that “Boomer” is “just a pup.” Okay. That just means he is going to get even bigger. Not a very comforting thought.

So we have this huge back yard that we can’t use. We pay rent for it, of course, but I can’t let my son or our small Dachshund play out there. They have a right to play in the back yard, but that right is abrogated by our neighbor’s equal right to keep his dog in his back yard. The point at which our respective “rights” collide is a rather shabby looking chain-link fence. When “Boomer” isn’t busy digging his tunnel under this fence, he practices jumping over it. It is only a matter of time.

There is no solution, unless the dog actually attacks someone. As a responsible parent and pet owner, I can’t let that happen. So my son doesn’t get a swimming pool this summer, and my Dachshund gets his fresh air and sunshine while being chained to a stake in the front yard.

I thoroughly despise people who get these big, aggressive dogs, then park them in the back yard and call them “guard dogs.” They are not “pets.” I’ve never seen anyone pet, or play with “Boomer.” He’s fed and watered regularly, as near as I can tell, and he has a big dog house that he can retreat to when it rains, or to escape the heat of the day. To the best of my knowledge, the dog is not mistreated in any manner. He just wanders around back there, barks at me when I go out into the back yard, works on his digging project, lays around.

I think he would like to play. Even when he is barking and showing his teeth, his tail is always up and wagging, and his ears perk forward. He’s “just a pup,” after all. Right after we moved into this house, I attempted to engage the dog in a little bit of play. I didn’t actually reach over the fence, or attempt to touch the dog. I need my hands. I just talked to him in a playful tone. The dog seemed immediately interested.

It didn’t last more than thirty seconds before the owner came out to see what I was doing, then he called the dog inside. I guess he didn’t want me “getting friendly” with his attack dog. No, that wouldn’t do at all, would it? He wouldn’t be much of a “guard dog” if folks could come right up and pet him, or play with him. Better to keep the animal distrustful and aggressive toward ALL strangers, that way nobody will ever sneak into your back yard and steal…say…that rusty-ass old swing set that looks like it’s been sitting there since the Reagan era.

Thieves are notoriously stupid. Surely it will never occur to them to break in through the front door, avoiding the back yard entirely.

In the meantime, fully one-third of the property that we pay rent for sits useless.

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