Friday, July 8, 2011

The Neighbor Dog Blues

A pit bull puppy/dog loped around our yard wagging his tail, wee-weeing on blades of grass, and sniffing random butts.

“Oh great, someone’s dumped off another dog,” my husband said.

Note:  It’s a problem for folks “out in the country.” People figure that the kindly country folks will take in random kittens, cats, parrots, and pit bulls and let them live in their barns where the abandoned animals will write best selling books about their travails and adventures. Then these people (presumably) lie to their children claiming, “Hitler ran away.”

The suspect puppy/dog continued to frolic about. His enormous boy-dog parts bouncing wildly.

“Nope,” I said. “That’s the neighbor’s dog.” The young, happy-go-lucky puppy/dog sniffed my butt. “I don’t see this ending well.”

The pit bull squeezed under our fence into our neighbor’s pasture. A pasture stuffed with baby goats and baby sheep. Our horses stamped nervously. The duck peeked over the rim of his three hundred and fifty gallon water tank.

A week later in the dark of night, I came home from school and walked onto our back porch and gagged. The smell made me start speculating as only a writer can.

To no one in particular I huffed, “Good grief, someone’s been murdered on my back porch and everything that should be on the inside of a body is now on the outside of the body.”

I stepped lightly. I didn’t want to mess up the DNA evidence. Snapping the back porch lights on I realized we had been dog slimmed. Our neighbor’s happy-go-lucky puppy/dog had punched through the porch screen, jumped onto a private porch, and pooped once, twice, and then—for good measure—three times.  I lost count of the puddles of happy-go-lucky puppy/dog pee. There was a steaming pile of dog stuff on a couch pillow.

Our dogs stared at me from behind window glass. Ploodle, the Yorkshire terrier, rolled his eyes and shrugged.

“Oh man, this is not going to end well.”

While chatting with our neighbor about the neighborhood dog trouble, which was really not a dog issue but an owner issue, happy-go-lucky pit bull puppy/dog hopped into our duck pool and grabbed our duck by its skinny duck neck. His tail never stopped wagging—the dog’s tail not the duck’s. I screamed and ran for the phone and a leash.

The duck survived. The dog was arrested. And the dog’s owner spent the Fourth of July shooting his gun at . . . something. He practiced all day long.

“Do you think that guy knows I ratted out his dog?” I asked my husband. “How big do you think his gun is? Do you think he’s a better shot than me? How much do you think bulletproof vests are? Do you think a bulletproof vest would make me look fat? Should I invest in a Gatling gun for the roof of the house? How soon so you think you’ll remarry?”

I ran out of breath. He considered.

“He suspects. It’s a forty-five. Probably. They ain’t cheap. They make everyone look thick. No. I’ll probably bring a date to the funeral.”

“Smart guy, statistics show that the sooner a man remarries after becoming a widower indicates how happy he was in his marriage. You must be delirious with happiness.”

“You know it.”

“Well, I wouldn’t remarry. I’m just going to sit around and wait for someone to drop off a parrot or a monkey for companionship.”

He smiled. When night fell, our neighbor put his gun away and pulled out a grenade launcher. I started to stack sand bags around the duck pool.

Linda (Cop Out) Zern



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