Wednesday, August 10, 2011

Dog attack, trying to reconcile and threats

It's been two days since being accosted on a public sidewalk by a pair of barking, aggressive, threatening dogs owned by two of my neighbors. It's been two sleepless nights filled with anxiety too. I did report it to the police of course and the officer said they'd call the arrent dog owners but I am not at all sure that they did because the offending dogs were running loose again yesterday just as before with the full knowledge of their owners. If I want to avoid them I have to avoid walking in that direction on my own street. Less than 300 feet from my own front door. The encounter we had was with two dogs. However, there are actually up to five dogs that run loose, unrestrained from time to time like a pack. I don't like ill feelings between neighbors. I was sure we could reach some kind of understanding so I spoke with one of the dog owners this morning as he took his daily walk with his dog. (It was restrained and well behaved on a 3 foot leash.) He exhibited no interest in what I had to say nor did he display any remorse for the danger his dog presented by running loose and accosting us. His response was that he pays his taxes and he can do what he pleases in that area. When I start paying his taxes I can have something to say about him and what he chooses to do with his dog. His conclusion was that it wouldn't have happened if we would have walked somewhere else. He accepted absolutely no responsibility for what transpired. We should have avoided being there. He couldn't help that his dog got loose and ran away while he was talking to another neighbor. He said if I didn't like his dog running loose I should call the cops. I said I already did. He then threatened that he will start calling the cops on every little thing I do wrong. I asked if he knew that my wife had just returned home from major surgery and was in a full neck brace to prevent sudden movement or complications. N0, he said. Quickly changed the subject and went on to describe how his wife suffered serious injury from his dog pulling her off her feet and dragging her as if that justified in some way why his dog was running loose. I didn't get the connection and said so. He said again that he was going to start calling the cops on me for everything I do wrong and that he didn't want to talk to me any more and then walked away appearing very much to not agree with my attempt to reconcile our differences and come to an agreement concerning walking on our sidewalks without fear of being confronted by an unrestrained dog.

So, my attempt to smooth things over between neighbors and reach a truce of some kind was for naught. The only understandable response was threats and making sure I understood that his dog or any other dog could run loose and it was up to me to avoid those public areas that they ran in or I will face the consequences. It almost sounded like bullying to me. At least I felt it very much resembled the bullying I faced in school when I was a kid. I don't accept bullying to any degree no matter who it is from. I've been bullied by the best of them and I learned a long time ago that people who threaten you will continue to do so as long as you allow them to. Another thing about threats is that as long as they are secret they will continue.

I want to make it clear that I like dogs as much as the next person. I feel that allowing them to run free is good for them. After all they need the exercise. I don't feel that the public right of way is the place to do it. Especially when it is against the law and endangers anyone or makes them feel threatened. There always seems to be someone even the best of dogs doesn't like. I've been bitten twice, seriously, requiring medical attention and stitches. My daughter has been bitten and required medical attention. All three times was by a "wonderful family pet" that wouldn't harm a flea. Now, by trying to work this all out between respectful neighbors has been met by threats. It just doesn't seem right to me that I'm made out to be the bad guy here. Yes, apparently I'm to blame for being attacked by two unrestrained dogs on a public sidewalk. But I've only spoken with one owner. Maybe more will become known after I speak to the other one. I won't allow it to happen again to anyone in my neighborhood if I can help it. It's just not right to me!

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