Friday, May 18, 2012

Neighbor unclear on the concept

So I hear Murphy out on the deck just barking away. And it's not his "I see a cat" bark, or his "There's the UPS truck bark". No, it's his serious "I will kill you" bark. Naturally this one gets my attention quick so I go out on the deck where he is only to see him with his head between the deck rails with his ears pinned back and his hair up, straining with all he's got to reach one of my cat-harboring neighbors, who is in my yard trying to recover one of the feral cats that she's got a thing for. She's about 6-8 feet from the deck rail and she's actually trying to reach up and offer her hand to Murphy despite the fact that Murphy is clearly promising all sorts of pain and scarring if he gets hold of it.

"Aw, come on," she's crooning. "You know me..."

"Yes, he does know you," I replied. "And he doesn't care. You're in his yard."

I get Murphy back and bring him in the house, rewarding him with a cookie because he did the right thing even though the target was ostensibly friendly. Then I went back out to clue her in.

"He sees me in my yard every day," she said. "He's normally nice."

I sigh. "He knows that you belong on the other side of the hedge. He may be fine with you over there or out on the street, but this is his yard and he's going to defend it from anyone, you, the UPS guy, the meter man..anyone. It's what he does."

"Well I just figured I'd let him smell my hand and he'd remember me," she said.

"And that would be fine in your yard or down on the street," I reiterated. But if you reach up into his deck in his yard, he's going to bite you."

"Oh, I can't believe that he'd do that," she replied. "That's just crazy."

I sigh again, thinking to myself that Murphy's not the crazy one here. Every facet of his tone and body language promised carnage, but she's convinced herself that she "knows dogs" and can pet him.

Good job on the defense, Murphy, but don't bite the crazy lady and get us sued, ok?
"I will give you dis beer if you look the other way next time she comes back."


  1. I'll bet she tries to pet a moose or bear if she visits Alaska, too.

    You can't fix stupid.

  2. Check your local laws (state, county AND town) some areas are tolerant of dogs that are 'protecting property'

  3. She's VERY unclear on the concept!

  4. With your legal training, you probably know how to protect your assets. You know she will need a painful lesson to be convinced.

  5. Yeah, the last thing you want to do it offer a body part to a dog who so obviously wants to remove it for you. If you absolutely MUST approach the dog (I am a rescuer, sometimes I do have to approach the dog, lol) you don't look at it, you stand slightly sideways and wait for it to calm down. We teach classes for kindergarteners around here to keep them safe. Maybe I could send her some literature?

  6. @ Gracie: She's an "animal lover" and thinks that all animals love her back. That's why she has a hundred feral cats in her yard that she feeds, none of which she can actually catch or even touch. But Murphy WILL bite and bite hard to protect his domain even though he's friendly enough off-property. She's been warned.

  7. What a moron....

    Good boy Murphy. He's doing exactly what he's supposed to be doing!

    And Rev. Paul is right, you just can't fix stupid (or ignorant)

  8. Good Murphy! Good Dog!

  9. Next time she tries that, get a recording (video or audio) of you warning her off. That way if she's stupid a third time, you've got proof. Dogs are territorial...a barking dog is guarding his area. Leave it to him. Any "animal lover" should know that.

  10. I think getting bit might do her some good ... just saying!

    (not that i would want you on the wrong end of a lawsuit)

  11. Anonymous11:44 AM

    A Real Moron

  12. Might be time for a trail-cam (with audio)...just sayin'.

  13. Yeesh... Idjits...

  14. What is commonly referred to as "training the dog" is actually, to no small extent, training the people who interact with the dog.

    This ditzy gal needs some training.

    As Benjamin Franklin observed in his Poor Richard's Almanack, "Experience keeps a dear school, but a fool will learn in no other.).

  15. good dog, don't let the stupid get into the yard. Stupid is contagious and you don't want a stray to get their stupid near your human.

  16. Dogs are not cats - she needs to understand that.