I've never been one of those people who have lightening tongues and super fast comebacks when being confronted. I seem to stand there looking like an idiot while my insides turn molten and my face a shade of bright red. It's only after the incident I'm able to reflect on the confrontation and think of all the fantastical comments I could have/should have said to shut the confronter up. Never to be given a second chance to redeem myself. It's all rather frustrating.
My only recourse, besides spewing profanities afterwards, is writing my thoughts down. I don't fancy myself a writer. But, I must admit there is something about the written word that is powerfully cathartic. Nothing feels better than artfully forging your thoughts down and then clicking "publish". An instant proverbial weight lifted. Not to mention, there is a sense of gratification peppered with a little bit of "gotcha back!" Even though my disdain for a certain blonde songstress is strong, I do, in a way, relate to her need to pick up a pen and passive aggressively scribble out a tune.
So, when a man, I've never met, happened on my front porch a few evenings back, lunged right into harassing me without introducing himself and lacking any civil niceties while one (or more) of my children stood behind me. I, as you can imagine, was gobsmacked. Why was he on my porch? Apparently, my dogs had been barking 'incessantly' (his word) even though they are indoors majority of the time and crated at night and when we aren't home. My dogs are NEVER left outside, alone, for hours upon hours. I value myself as a very responsible pet owner.
We love our Franklin and Mavis wholeheartedly. Their terrier breed runs deep as they are feisty and protective. Do they bark? Yes. They bark at deer and furry rodents when they are in our yard and people passing the front of our house when they happen to be outside. You know, because dogs bark. Does it annoy us? Yes, at times it does. Do they bark incessantly? No, they do not. How could they when they aren't outside incessantly?! As neighbors, we are all expected to tolerate a certain amount of noise during the day time hours. Lawns being mowed, construction on houses, radios being played, cars being washed, road work near by, children laughing/playing, garbage trucks rumbling, celebrations being had and, YES, even dogs barking. GASP!
Currently, we do not have a privacy fence around our backyard so Frank and Mavis can see the street in front of our house. And, due to the road work being done just outside our neighborhood, our little street has seen a major increase in foot and car traffic. Together, this adds up to a good amount of 'stuff' for the dogs to bark at. However, I will reiterate! My dogs are NEVER outside for long periods of time and NEVER at night. That said, there are several other dogs currently living in our neighborhood that make plenty of noise all by themselves. Like the neighbor right next door that leaves his poor girl outside ALL NIGHT LONG to howl repeatedly under my daughter's window. Another example, the neighbor that walks her foo-foo pup up and down my street several times a day while it practically hangs itself at the end of its leash while barking its little head off, never to be corrected by its owner. Or, the house down the street where two noisy pups live but like mine, are indoors majority of the time. And, there is a dog somewhere that I've heard barking after hours for good stretches of time. All different animals mind you. Therefore, I believe, since my pooches are the most visible, we got the blame. And that, ladies and gentlemen, really pisses me off.
Let me backup a bit ... back to the "Jerk"... since I had never met this man on my doorstep I didn't know who he was when I opened my door to his aggressive tone and repeated questions. Being that it is prime election time, I assumed it was solicitor hawking something about marriage rights or making weed legal. It took me a few out-of-body moments to recognize his car park cockeyed in my driveway, judge his age and mannerisms and recall incidents of other neighbors' run-ins with him that I gathered who he even was. And, when I summed it all up, concluding this man was none other than Mr. 417, the one I have heard so much about, I slowly started closing my door in his face. To which he arched his body and aimed his head into my door jam to repeat the same questions yet again.
At this point, you might be thinking to yourself "incidents of other neighbors"?? Yes, this dude when he's not wintering in Palm Springs or volunteering for the Sheriff's Department thinks his poop is unstinkable and therefore is allowed to run around our neighboring streets, park his obnoxious car in our driveways, trespass onto our property, harass us in our homes, confront our children and make threats against our pets.
But this time. Mr. 417 done knocked on the wrong neighbor's door. I will not tolerate his behavior and I will not be bullied! I am not only standing up for myself but also for my fellow neighbors as I quietly form my counter against this ridiculous person.
I've written my song, I'm doing more research and I will talking to people who are actually on the payrole for the local law enforcement very soon. And, in the mean time, I will continue to care for my dogs just as I always have.