There Is a Reason Why I Do Not Have a Gun
After a recent incident with our property owner’s daughter (adult) regarding our dog, I have been thinking about how one can possibly determine a person’s character by how that person treats animals. If not determine at least use it as an indicator. We all know about the serial killer who more than likely killed and/or abused animals when he was a child, however, I am seeing something more subtle, less extreme, yet more prevalent, more acceptable happening in everyday interactions. I know I touch on passive-aggressiveness a lot, but I really do believe it is an epidemic in American society, mostly because it is rewarded, even considered polite behavior, –desirable behavior. Many people seem to view the antithesis of passive-aggression as aggression, perhaps violent aggression, therefore, they tend to nurture passive-aggressiveness, but that is black and white thinking. The pendulum does not need to swing all the way to passive-aggressiveness or all the way to the other end of violent aggressiveness. It is sad that a true sense of moderation (or the pursuit of) has been lost (if it ever existed).
Since we have been here the woman (the property owner’s adult daughter) who shares the other half of the duplex has been trying to insert herself in our lives. Perhaps she needs this, however, just because she may need it does not mean we have to accommodate her needs. Maybe we could be called unneighborly, but in our defense, I ask, why should we befriend someone simply because they desire that connection. What is in it for us? How does it affect our quality of life if we are not interested? The truth is I do not like her, the Mister does not like her, so why would we purposely include someone in our life we do not like? I support the village theory, the community theory, and I do so by not interacting in a potential relationship that will not benefit the community. In her attempts to insert, to interact through notes left on the door, stopping and interrupting when we are trying to go to and from, I detect (using my instincts) trouble, –drama. We are too old, too busy, and not interested in that type of life. Period. Perhaps I am wrong, perhaps Mr. Glendower is wrong, but you know what? I am tired of doubting myself, then extending myself, and suffering from it, just to learn that my instincts were correct from the beginning. So no more. Hence lies the problem, the conflict. The people who want to be left alone versus the people who want to be seen, heard, paid attention to. The latter, particularly when they are controlling and me-me-me types, do not want to be rejected, do not want others to have or make the choice.
When the pseudo-neighborly approach does not work apparently the next best thing is to become the warring neighbor (how tiresome, cliché), which is where the dog comes into play. She cannot attack our yard because their gardener, who they pay sees to it. Where we park our cars has already been criticized and we changed that to meet her specifications. Then it was an issue about the trash bin. We leave it exactly where it is assigned to rest during the week and take it to the street on garbage day. “Why do you leave it on the street until late afternoon when the garbage is picked up by midday?” “Wouldn’t it be neighborly if you were to bring my bins in when you bring yours in because I have a bad back”, etc. Well, you know what, Mr. Glendower was discharged from the military with a bad back and is compensated by the VA for it. My back hurts. Hell, my ass is high up on my back making it doubly painful and if I miss one day of walking or some kind of stretching it tightens, —everyone’s back hurts. WTF? Honestly.
What amazes me is, on any given day noise can be heard from planes circling and landing at the nearby airport, loud cars, diesel-engine trucks (and cars, a Mercedes next door), excavators and scrapers across the field building a new development, a man unsuccessfully practicing the guitar, the woman who blow dries her hair every single morning at 6:20 am, the gardener’s leaf blowers, weed eaters, lawnmowers at someone’s house every single week day, UPS, FedEx, the mail truck, other delivery trucks the garbage trucks, an endless string of visitors opening and closing the door adjacent to ours and all around at other houses, the garage door opening and closing, opening and closing with the majority of the time not to back the car out (her garage is next to the side we live on, it is really weird, it is her yard, her living space, our living space, our garage, her garage, our yard) other dogs barking, yet our dog, the new people’s dog is the beast that is simply too much to tolerate. I guess manmade noises are fine because she cannot bully anyone about those noises. Those noises are progress, a meaning to a capitalistic existence. Refreshing! Whereas, an occasional bark from a dog who does what comes natural is too much to bear, so much so, that he must be tortured into submission. Why should he speak freely, when she is not invited to?
I do not like this kind of mess, I simply wish to be left alone, but I am willing to fight. Nevertheless, Mr. Glendower bought the collar and now the dog is tortured from bedtime to morning. Fortunately, he is a good dog, a smart dog, and knows to go to bed once the collar is on and does not try to bark anymore. It only took him one or two barks to learn. Even though that angle is covered there is still an aftermath to deal with. For one, Mr. Glendower becomes anxious when he hears a dog bark, “is that our dog?” It makes me nervous too. The child is worried that our dog will be taken away. And, I am worried that I may catch a case for punching her dead in her mouth the next time she complains about something.
I see the same dynamic play out on the beach. We live by a beach, not a pretty beach, but one that has uninviting terrain. The dunes are high and the waves fierce. The surfers love it, especially the ones that want to hone their skills instead of preening for attention. They make driftwood huts and wait for favorable tides. Sometimes the tide is out enough that there is flat smooth sand to follow the shoreline, making a walk pleasant, but most of the time, if one walks the shoreline it will be an up and down journey, a work out indeed. Even though there is a leash law at every beach, this is the only beach that it is not actively enforced. All the locals know this and it has become a haven for dogs. People take their dogs there to roam, to play. I have yet to have a bad experience with a dog. The dogs love the small reprieve from daily imprisonment. I met a man the other day because my dog ran ahead of us to him and his dog. It takes some time to get from the street to be shoreline so the dog got there first. I could tell the man was worried, uptight and was concerned about what I would think of his loose dog. When I made it to him, I asked if his dog bites, he said no. Then I told him that my dog does not bite either, that I was worried too because so many people are guarded and stress out over dogs. Instantly, before my very eyes his countenance changed. He was so relieved that I understood that the dogs should be left alone. He went on to tell me that his dog is now eleven and very happy. I understand the concern about vicious dogs, and the lack of accountability some dog’s owners refuse to accept when their dogs bite, but there are many dog owners who have dogs that do not fit into those categories, and my dog is one.
A little ways down the beach, my dog met another two dogs, no problem, they all played and moved on. Then further down, an old couple, tanned like leather and dried-up like acidic grapes as if they owned and lived on the beach forever had two of those rat dogs on leashes and was bitching to no one in particular about dogs running loose. Their bitterness followed them like a dirty plume..