Wednesday, May 16, 2012

Where Do We Go From Here?

I've never had issue with a neighbor until this year.  I think that I have been pretty nice to everyone around me even if they aren't "my people".  That being said, I had an issue with one last night that is weighing on my mind.  Our dog had been attacked when we took him for a walk and after a costly surgery I felt I needed to address it with this person, whom to this point I had not met.  When I tried to walk up to the house, the same dog came running at the gate, and since I had seen what it did to my dog, I didn't feel comfortable in walking any closer to address it in person.  Here is the letter I dropped off in their mailbox yesterday:

On April 21, 2012 we had an incident I need to make you aware of in hopes that you will do something to help.  We were walking our dog, on leash past your home when your dog came out from your gate and attacked our boxer Flash.  Since he was on leash he could not protect himself and was viciously bitten on the ear.  We were able to chase your dog back into your gate.  It appears that your dog can move freely from your yard to the street, unrestrained. 
When we returned home we could see the ear was tender but by morning we had to take him to an emergency vet as we could not touch his head without pain.  The veterinarian advised that this hematoma could possibly repair itself with the use of an antibiotics and steroids prescribed for the next 10 days.  After 17 days the hematoma appeared to be getting much larger and we were forced to take him back to see what the next plan of action would be, only to be told that we would have to do surgery on the ear costing approximately $900.  We decided to take him to our regular veterinarian and they were able to bring the cost down significantly.  Please see the enclosed bill.  While he was in, we took advantage of the anesthesia and had him neutered as well so obviously we are not expecting any help for that amount of the surgery.  However, we would appreciate your assistance with the part as you are by law culpable for our dogs’ injuries. 

Please be aware, it talking with various other neighbors in the area that like to walk, that your dog has chased others and it is only a matter of time before animal control will be called.  Now that the dog has attacked our dog I would certainly call them next time if I see your dog out due to your negligence.  We are not contentious people so we are trying to be reasonable.  I’m asking that you find some way to keep the dog contained so that we can feel safe in walking in our neighborhood in the future. 

I was frankly, asuming that they would not offer to pay anything against the surgery, but would make sure from that time on that their gate at least was closed and the dog would not be able to roam at will....WRONG!

I received a call last night at around 9:45 from the woman and the first thing she yells at me is that I dropped a letter in her box and she would NOT be paying us anything.  She wanted to know why I would wait so long to tell her.  I explained that I had gone up to the gate, but her dog had rushed up to it and I had already seen the dog attack mine, so I wasn't willing to take the chance that it would bite me!  She told me she is going to call her lawyer and have him handle it.  I told her I can get one of those too but I was hoping we could just work this out.  She explained that I can't prove that it was her dog and she doesn't have a dog of that discription.  I explained that I have seen the dog going in and out of her property for the last few years and obviously the dog feels like it's hers since it's living there and obviously is being fed.  She told me she only owns one dog, a lab, and that the other one is a stray.  I explained that the "stray" she has been feeding for 5 years is hers whether she chooses to admit it or not and all I really want is for them to tell me that they will keep the dog contained on their property so that I can feel safe to walk past her property....lots of yelling going on her on her side.  I think I was being resonable but truthfully my blood was boiling and I'm sure I must have said a few stupid things.  I know I told her I am not a contentious person and truly don't want this to go further.  She went from apologetic to sounding a bit crazy and telling me she is going to just have all 5 of her dogs killed to make me happy (hmmm, went from I only own a lab to I have 5 dogs?).  She also told me that since no one else had ever complained I was obviously making it all up.  In fact, how could I even say it was her dog.  I could be making that up too!  Had I not talked to several other neighbors about this while trying to figure out what to do I wouldn't have known, so I suppose it's highly possible that she had never heard about their issues so ours might seem suspect.  Just about the time she started to sound resonable again, she started going on about how other neighbors were breaking rules and she was going to take it upon herself to go around and call the police and them. (I happen to know some of the neighbors that she is talking about and there is NOTHING she can call the police on them for...they are amazing folks!)  I explained that this was really not my business what other people were doing...taking to the extreme in this case isn't going to fix the fact that I want her gate closed so I could walk around my neighborhood when the temperatures were nice...I like to take a walk occasionally...she told me I'd be stupid to walk past her house!  Ok then, guess I should wonder at this point what she meant by that :(  I ended up having to hang up on her because it was starting to get loud on her end again.  Sadly, a truck/car came down our little 2 house cul-de-sac and I actually feared she was going to come by and do something crazy.  Tracy must have felt that way too because he got up several times during the night to look out and make sure everything was ok. 

The up side is that Flashy is feeling better and I believe he won't have any lasting effects after the 10 days of drugs and collar are over. 

Grrrr....wish I didn't have to worry about this lady taking out on us in some crazy way!