I have no horse stuff to share, because I am dying from the plague and haven't made it to the barn. Tonight I go, but until then . . . .
Meet Lily Bear. She has been part of our family for a year now and she and her sister have morphed from wild, pee-every where puppies, into wonderful dogs.
This is a picture of her begging me not to leave for work in the morning. She didn't use to do this, but some things happened and now she hates it when I go. Let me back up.
Lily is our watch dog, guard dog, protector of the house dog. She is Malinios-Boxer mix, but got a great deal of Malinios. She has more focus than any animal I have ever seen, but her focus is on the small black kitten. I had researched Malinios dogs before bringing her home and knew we needed to be careful not to create a timid or vicious dog. They are so sensitive you just have to "look" at them and they react. I've never punished them, but I have been known to say "is this yours?" while holding whatever they've been destroying in a stern voice. They both show submissive signs and slink away. Both Lily and her sister are fully house broke and are now left in sole possession of our main floor (rather than left in the kennel) while we are at work.
Lily hates our neighbors. Hates him more than her. With a passion. She can hear when they come and go out of their front door and always alerts us by giving a couple of warning barks and then growling while she comes to make sure I know he is leaving. We use the word settle to reassure her that we know he is out in the world and to let her know she can stop barking. We don't yell at her or tell her no, because one of the reasons for having dogs is to alert us to intruders. They can't do that if they aren't allowed to alert. I really believe he has teased them over the back fence (we live in a condo with a small back patio) when they were smaller and Lily just doesn't like him.
To add to the conflict, the woman who lives there decided that our dogs were responsible for killing her bush out in front of her condo. When she confronted us, I explained to her that the landscapers had come by a couple of weeks before and had probably sprayed her bush with their all-purpose weed killer. It was the same thing that had happened to our bushes and the reason we had replaced them with roses. I suggested she let the landscapers know not to spray there, and hand weed instead. There are rocks in front of her bushes and I know that dogs sometimes stop there but not often enough to kill her plant. And since the plant started dying on the upper outside edge, where the landscapers would have hit it from spraying in a wind, I figured she would figure it out.
Then last summer T and I were driving home listening to the radio. Our neighbor comes on and tells the radio host that they hate us and have considered poisoning our dogs because her bush is dying. She made disparaging remarks about our "alternative" lifestyle (which in my mind is another way of bashing gay folk) and said that she was in a feud with us. That was news to me. However, it did explain why every time we opened the windows in our house, she and her boy toy would sit outside and smoke cigarettes. Then Colorado legalized pot, and they began smoking pot. Oftentimes in front of my 14 year old son. Sometimes they smoke so much, that it seeps into our walk-out space and crawl space. You can get a contact high just by walking downstairs. And they throw both their cigarette butts and roach clips onto our back patio, in an attempt to make our dogs sick. They were successful in giving Lily the runs for a couple of days. I think she snatched up and ate one of the roach ends before I could get it off the patio.
One night in December, I was getting groceries out of the car. It was snowy and cold. As I was walking into the house, our neighbor was getting out of her car and going into her place. She had her dog, a vicious little mutt she found somewhere (who has killed two of her birds and one of her cats), on leash. As I walked up the sidewalk and turned to go into the house, he jumped up and bit me on the arm twice. I jerked back and told our neighbor that he had bit me. She didn't check to see if I was okay, and she said "oh, bad itchie" but her tone said she was pleased he had bit me. I should have called to report it, but we were leaving that night for Phoenix and I didn't have time. I just talked to T about not being anywhere close to that dog. There was no broken skin and I wasn't really hurt. So, we let it go.
In January, animal control came by and left a notice on her door about a dog bite. Obviously, Itchie had bitten someone else. I hoped they would do something to fix the issue, but honestly, as stoned as they are ALL.OF.THE.TIME. I would be surprised if they even remembered it had happened. They must have decided the animal control visit was our fault, because the next time we were gone, they called animal control for excessive barking.
Being good doggie parents, we went out and got a product called bark-off, which really works. When they bark, the barkoff emits a sound that distracts them from barking. Unfortunately, it also scared the hell out of Lily. She will still bark, but she now shakes when we are getting ready to leave. We think now, that they are blowing a dog whistle or some other noise from their apartment to trigger our dogs into barking. They've done it a couple of times while we are home. It's pretty obvious when Lily barks and runs to the wall with her head cocked to the side, listening. It hasn't made her like them any better. We stopped using the bark off (no sense in making her unhappy and miserable when she responds to their teasing) and started leaving music on when we go. We also asked the neighbor on the other side of us (who also shares a wall) to text me if the dogs are barking uncontrollably. I am close enough I could drive home and see why. So far, no barking incidents. She told us they do play a couple of times a day, but not for more than twenty minutes or so.
We are hoping they spend all of their money on pot, can't pay their mortgage and are evicted. Or just flat out move. We don't care. I, for one, am tired of the drama.