Saturday, April 12, 2008

Another irresponsible neighbor

Some people in the condos down the street moved in with a Boxer that gets loose all the time. This dog's escapades have become so common that I actually have the dog's home address written on a piece of paper that we keep by the phone, so when we call animal control, we can tell dispatch exactly where the dog lives.

This Boxer has harassed dog walkers, darted in front of vehicles in the street, and gotten into trash. And today he strolled into my backyard like he owned the place—much to my horror, as I was out back with Dozer.

Imagine, if you will, a beautiful springlike day, with a soft cool breeze and sunny skies. The birds are singing, the grass is green, and in the shade you could just sit and enjoy the fresh nothingness for hours on end. Well, there I was watering plants on the back porch while Dozer flopped in the shady grass with his disc toy.

As I turned to move the water to the next pot, I heard a soft jingle to my left: keys, or loose change—or dog tags. Dozer's collar was in the house, as I had just brushed him a few minutes ago. At that exact moment, in the corner of my eye, I saw Dozer leap up from his grassy haven with a strangled, ferocious growl.

Dozer disappeared around the corner of the house in a split second, and at the same time, my brain put all the pieces together and I realized there was another dog in the yard. In the next instant, I knew it was that Boxer. All sorts of bad scenarios started flying through my head, but there was no time for me to do anything but yell.

So I put all my faith in my dog's obedience, and shouted at the top of my lungs, in my most hard-edged, furious, obey-me-or-die voice: "DOZER, GET OVER HERE THIS INSTANT!!!" A heartbeat later, Dozer came dashing back around the house and ran behind me. His tail was as frizzy as a cat, and he had a ridge of fur standing up all along his spine, but it seemed that his goal had been merely to scare the stranger away. He seemed relieved that Mommy was going to take charge now.

Tentatively, yet audaciously, the Boxer peered around the house at us. I glared at him, but he didn't seem interested in a fight. Rather, he looked surprised. Oh, is this your yard? The gate was open. I started toward the Boxer, thinking I might catch him, but when I did that, Dozer stepped forward too. No, I didn't want a fight. I led Dozer into the house and shut the door. Then I went back into the yard to see if the Boxer was still there—but he was gone.

So I made my call to animal control.


forsythia said...

We used to have a boxer when I was a child. Mom (my stepmom, actually) adored that dog. She was the baby Mom never had and Mom took great care of her, making sure that she had a long walk (on a leash) every day. Sometimes, despite close supervision, she would manage to get out. All the neighborhood kids were enlisted to bring Sunny home. It was always a challenge. You would sneak up on her, and then she'd get that crazy look in her eye and dash away. One time she followed what she thought was Mom's car all the way downtown (2 miles). Fortunately, a neighbor happened to be downtown and spotted her. Boxers are high-energy dogs. If people aren't committed to giving them plenty of exercise, they'll take themselves on walks, often with tragic consequences.

happypitbull said...

We fostered a Boxer for quite a while some years back. She was a riot and a terror at the same time. High energy did not even begin to describe her, and I was flabbergasted when it came to training because she had no food or toy drive whatsoever. She simply wanted to do whatever she wanted to do. Most of the time, that was running away! Having two pit bulls who only wanted to be as close to me as possible, and were as obedient as anyone could as for, I could not for the life of me figure out why Lucy (the Boxer) loved to bolt out the front door and fly down the street, never looking back.

Of course, once I became aware of her tendency (it took two escapes, since the first time she was new to the household and I wanted to give her the benefit of the doubt), I was as vigilant as ever from then on... and I stress the word I. My husband joined the strict management club after Lucy got off leash while we were camping (what a fiasco that was!), but our roommate had a lot of trouble remembering to body block when coming in the front door, etc., so we spent a lot of time chasing her around. Lucy was a sweetie, but boy, was she trouble!

Ironically, our roommate was the one who eventually adopted her. He moved into a house with a fence all the way around the front and back yard, so it acted a bit like an airlock; Lucy might accidentally slip out the door, but she was stuck in the yard. A perfect setup.