I’m a good neighbor. We park our cars in the garage, keep our grass mowed, weeds pulled, and beside Joe’s Memorial, we have never had a loud and raucous event at my house. My furry campers are never left outside to bark, we pick up poop promptly, and when my neighbor complained that I was getting water on her sidewalk while watering my lilacs, I apologized profusely and ceased and desisted immediately. I’m known as the neighborhood dog lady, often reuniting pups that have gone astray with their owners (often, taking my nieces with me so they can see how it’s done), and I care for our neighborhood pups when their owners travel. I feel that making my business beneficial to the neighbors is another way to be a good neighbor, but lately it hasn’t been working very well for me.
In April, I took care of little Cookie, a Chihuahua, who belongs to our neighbors across the street. Cookie stayed at home and I was just supposed to feed him and let him out. But Cookie, all five pounds of him, greeted me like an alligator. I talked to him in my best no nonsense, I’m-a-professional voice as I reached out to put the leash on him; he was not buying it as he lunged out to bite my hand. I grabbed the leash and lassoed him with it and then he charged at me with his teeth bared. I thought, “I’m too old for this crap,” and dragged his sorry little huha butt out the door. My pint-size alligator snapped, growled, and lunged at me the entire time we walked, only stopping long enough to lift his leg. The tricky part was getting the leash off when we went back inside. Through a combination of moves, I managed to do it without getting bit. His owner returned, thanked me, and mentioned that it was hard to find people who were willing to check in on little Cookie. Imagine my surprise. Bless his heart.
Fast forward to May. Memorial Day is just not one of my better weekends. Last year, I wrote about Teddy and the Wozzle, and this year, I have Devil Dog. Early in May, my neighbor down the street asked me if his dog could stay with me for the weekend while he went to a wedding. He lives with his elderly dad and he did not think his dad could handle his dog for the weekend. I was pleased he was asking me three weeks in advance and thought his consideration for his dad was admirable (I am such a sucker). I knew the dog from the neighborhood and he seemed nice enough, so I agreed, and the neighbor thanked me profusely.
Checking the dog into camp was our first problem. The neighbor was three hours late. I needed to leave for an appointment, so Vickie, our friend and camp helper, agreed to check the camper in when he arrived. When my neighbor did not show for a second time, Vickie left and agreed to return when the neighbor called to say he was ready to drop his dog at camp. By the time I arrived at home, Devil Dog was showing his dissatisfaction with his accommodations by trying to bite Vickie as she was trying to lead him into our house. We don’t allow biting at camp, and even looking like you might want to bite Vickie is quickly going to lead to a lot of unpleasantness. I took Devil Dog’s leash in hand, was very clear about who was top dog, and insisted he follow me into the house and into his crate. For the sake of brevity, pretend that it went just like that and Devil Dog did not scream like he was being water-boarded all the way into the house. Once in the crate, Devil Dog settled down and Vickie and I were sure that, in no time, he would be part of our big happy camp family. No hugs were forthcoming.
Ugly does not even begin to describe Devil Dog whenever I tried to move near his crate or approached him with a leash. In ten years of dealing with our campers, I had never been bitten and I did not want Devil Dog to be the first. I considered my options and realized I needed swat gear!
The poker was not used to hit Devil Dog; it allowed me to open the crate door from a safe distance. The rest of the gear is pretty self-explanatory.
Did it work? Sort of. Even when you deal with dogs 24/7 it’s hard not to feel fear when faced with a snarling, lunging, growling 80-pound dog. Dogs use fear to their advantage. My swat gear reduced my fear and boosted my confidence. Devil Dog knew that I was not relinquishing leadership when I faced him in my swat gear using a barbecue grill as a shield, with my poker by my side. We called a tense truce. Devil Dog leaves today. We have two more rounds to go before I am declared the clear winner.
Will Devil Dog be camping with us again? No. I’m just not that good of a neighbor.
Wassup with you? Odd Loves Company!
Note: Devil Dog was completely isolated from other campers.
25 thoughts on “Good Neighbor Meets Dog From Hell”
Katybeth, a little fear? Just the sound of that dog makes me quake in my work boots and I bet I outweigh you by a lot of pounds from the look of those “swat clothes.” Use the dam poker if you have to and send that dog home on the end of your boot.
Off for an early golf game and then grilling with sis and family.
Have a good one and be careful!
Thanks Mike. The clothes offered protection and helped me deal with my fear but it would have been hard if not impossible not to have been afraid! Thankfully I did not have to use the poker or my boots!
Glad you had a good golf game and happy family time!
Oh you are a saint! A brave saint and your friend/helper/assistant/dog whisperer, Vickie, must have been sent to you from the spirit of Rin-Tin-Tin. I hope you can come up with another time to don your armor – I love it!
I do feel I might have added a jewel or two to my crown this time around. Vickie’s crown is already so heavy she is going to have to start a matching necklace. Yes, my armor does need another occasion…but perhaps not a biting dog one.
The outfit could use a nice colorful scarf up around the neck. USE THE POKER ON THE NEIGHBOR. What a jerk. Can’t wait to hear that you got rid of that beast.
Yes you are so right! I would love to give my neighbor a good poke!!
This just made me laugh and laugh and laugh especially when I saw the outfit. I admit the grille grate was a nice touch! You are a good neighbor, Bless Your Heart! Hope devil dog knows you mean business from here on out ♥
Well my combat gear helped..I felt a scarf might add a bit of color tho…Bless my heart, indeed :-D. Devil dog will NOT be camping with us again. Ever.
It does not make my heart happy to hear about this beast. I will be very releived when the dog goes home.
I wet my pants just a little from laughing when I read this–you have such a way with stories, Kb, AND with dogs.
My way with this dog was to show him the door as soon as I could. Ohhhh what a monster. It was worth it if I made you laugh tho..especially since I did not get bitten.
Katybeth, you’re bucking for sainthood, aren’t you? As if Cookie, Teddy, and the Wozzle weren’t enough, you’ve managed to take on Devil Dog! How brave you are — I can see why this big one wouldn’t be a welcome return guest! Please be careful.
I really had no idea about ‘devil dog’ or I would never have agreed to take him. The few times I met him in the neighborhood he seemed to be fine. This was a one time deal. I’m not brave enough or dumb enough to ever do it again.
Please add this line on your invoices:
AGGRAVATION FEE (when applicable):
Can you believe he stayed for free…but when I agree to do a dogs nails and the owner smiles and says, “Oh he does not like it but he will probably be better for you…” that if the dog bites me it is going to cost them a whole lot more than $7.00. An aggravation fee!
OMG….your report about the neighbor’s dog is too funny..but be careful..won’t be funny if that beast gets a chunk of you..I would not allow him back at camp either..not worth it.
As God is my witness NEVER AGAIN. So not worth it!!
You’re being far too modest in your ability to tame the beast and far too kind in calling him Devil Dog. Cujo would be more accurate. That aside, you do tell a funny story from an awful situation.
Thanks for saving me from his snarling disposition. I hope he’s in his own home by now.
Could not have done it without you! Cujo works! 😀
I think I would charge double for a dog like that. Wonder why the beast is so ornery. Is he mistreated at home? I would bite the owner when he came to pick up that nasty dog. Just to let him know how lucky he is that his dog is still among the living and how close you came to be on the biting end of his devil dog.
I don’t charge my neighbors :-/ He is part Chow and I think the Chow part is the ornery part. I pretty sure his owner treats him well but he was a rescue so who knows what happened before he came to live with my neighbor. I did tell my neighbor who then mentioned that he did have a tendency to snarl on occasion…I got that!
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