Tuesday, August 25, 2009

Being a Good Neighbor

If you follow my blog, you will remember Tia, my Great Pyrenees with the bad haircut. Valentia, Spanish for bravery, is anything but brave. She was a gift to me from two of my most respected Pyr mentors (see, I told you they come in handy!) when I lost my beloved Marilyn Monroe, my very first guardian dog. She is a wonderful dog, but I have pansied her like I was worried I would (I have always rescued adult Pyrs and she was just a tiny baby!), then she had an accident that she lost five teeth from, so she lives in our backyard instead of with the herd of llamas, sheep and chickens. I have used her as a warning system so to speak, I can tell by her bark if there is danger.

A week or so ago, my renters accidentally left some trash out and a bear came to visit, like they are so apt to do. Tia was quite upset about such a large predator being in her yard, anywhere near her "family". Well, the bear has passed through a couple of times since then, but luckily he has not gotten any more food (did you know that if a bear gets fed once, it can take up to 30 times of not getting food before he'll quit coming?), but Tia has been very anxious about it. If you are not familiar with Great Pyrenees, they are big, white, very furry teddy bears that in my experience do not like being indoors. Between her being a wonderful danger alarm and the fact that I couldn't get her to come in, we have been suffering from some sleepless nights due to her barking.

Last night after we had all gone to bed, we heard a very insistent horn honking at the renter's house. They are kids, you know under 25, so we figured it was one of their friends and went back to bed. Just a couple of minutes later our kids were down in our room, my daughter crying and the boys pretty worked up, yelling that someone was fighting up at the renters and were at our house now. Tom went to see what was wrong while I gave the kids instructions, hopefully we are all somewhat prepared for emergencies. The kids did exactly as they were told, and I headed out to see how Tom was. By this time he was back in the house, shouting that the guy had threatened him about the dog barking. The man and woman had first gone up the hill to our rental to say he was going to shoot the dog, where they told him he was trespassing, and then came down here to physically threaten Tom. As you all know by now, Tom is an old school biker and needless to say this didn't go over well!!!

While Tom got in his truck to quickly get their license plate number, I called the cops. In a small town, having been here as long as we have, inevitably, the reporting officer is an acquaintance of ours. He too, was not too happy about the way that these people handled a barking dog incident. Of course Tom and the renter filled out reports and the cop headed off to have a little chat with them. They had driven over here drunk and mad from quite a ways away, didn't make him very happy.

You know, I hadn't even thought about her barking traveling across the valley. All of our immediate neighbors love our little ranch, and understand Tia's integral part of it, so they put up with her. If anyone had said one thing, we would have made her come in at night (which is what we obviously did), this was such shocking behavior. Although the dog is irritating, sometimes being a good neighbor means communicating before you get drunk and mad! LOL!!!

Have a neighborly day!


EmmettFerret said...

Dogs can be so rewarding yet so trying sometimes. It's funny how they know when something is wrong.

Amy Byrne said...

It is completely normal and useful to have the dogs in the neighborhood bark when there are bears around. We are your immediate neighbors and the only time we hear her barking is when all the dogs in the neighborhood are barking for a reason. That's a crazy story, sorry to hear it happened. We love having you guys right next door especially Valentia. -Amy and David

David said...

When there's a bear or cougar in the area, I can always hear at least half a dozen dogs barking in the valley (not counting ours). Let me know if you need any help dealing with the jerks again.