Our neighbors have a tiny, angry dog.
It appears to be a Doberman trapped in a Chihuahua’s body.
Sorta like this:
For some reason, Brutus, this puppy–and puppy he is, he’s only a few months old–has nipped me before, scratched Child’s back another time (though this was when Brutus was put on the top bunk with Child by the other children who live with Brutus in an effort to help Child overcome her fear of Brutus–but Child is not afraid of dogs, she likes them, she is only afraid of THIS dog). Brutus needs to be held whenever a stranger even approaches the neighbor’s yard for it will fly over and attach itself like a cartoon wimp biting into the Incredible Hulk.
Brutus’s family treats it with this queer kind of awe and permissiveness. Explaining its poor behavior, saying things like, “He doesn’t like men.” And, “For some reason, he doesn’t like Child.”
I call bullshit.
But then I’m not really a pets person. I do not understand how people love pets. I find puppies to be more tiring than infants, only puppies never learn to talk and can never do cool things like ride subways or go to State College or read books and snuggle or ham it up for the camera.
Here’s a picture of Child’s wounds from Brutus a few days in:
And I am really annoyed about this. Maybe I am even angry.
Child is lovely and adaptable as always. She’s been noticing how the bruises look like a face and enjoys pretending that they are talking.
I am telling myself not to be annoyed and angry. I am telling myself that kids used to scrape themselves and break arms playing with neighbors and neighbors’ kids and parents didn’t make big stinks about it, and I am nostalgic for a time when neighbors were more neighborly. So I don’t want to cause a bunch of crap, call the police and force the neighbors to execute their poorly behaved pooch.
But I’m not a litigious sort.
But then I wonder if I’m being an okay mom. Should I have raised a ruckus? Am I showing Child that it’s okay for pets to hurt people? Or that it’s okay for people to let other people’s pets hurt them? She’s been forbidden from going inside the neighbors’ house at all, and she is not allowed to go next door if Brutus is out, either.
But then I wonder if I am enabling the neighbors to continue to have a dog that’s a tiny menace? Risking another person’s health and well-being? If I should have been thinking globally–about the neighborhood–instead of about our so far really copacetic relationship with our neighbors, and at least filed a report with the SPCA or something?
But we had a yard sale the other day, and I saw a pair of people walking their dog, first by our house, then an hour or more later back the other way, and they carried a plastic bag of shit the size of my head. And they allowed their dog to piss in our yard, in front of the yard sale, as if it’s a perfectly acceptable thing. Last year, I went to the beach with my mom, and she has this tiny pooch, and it was this whole other sociological order of humans who are beholden to animals, I was and am mystified, and I feel I cannot expect rational behavior from pets people.
What do you think, blog readers? Instead of dispensing advice about parenting, I’m asking for it. Or about pets.