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The Family Bandwagon

Our family is spread out across the country and across the world, and what better way to keep in touch than a collaborative digital journal?

Saturday, 14 January 2012

Puppygate 2012

A couple of weeks ago, Lucy jumped her fence while we were out and went wandering off down the road. When we realised she was no longer in the backyard, I went walking up Baker Street following the sounds of barking, and found her a few houses up where they keep Rottweiler pups -- indeed, they'd locked her in their backyard and left a note on our door but she'd managed to escape again.

We didn't know how she got out, but "hardened" the perimeter in various ways: more wire, nails, tent-pegs so she couldn't tunnel under, etc. A few days later she got out again but this time we were home and vigilant and Lucy made it as far as the driveway before I was after her with a leash.

I reached the bottom of our driveway in time to see Lucy sniffing around the neighbours front yard, whilst said neighbour, rather irate, harrangued her from the porch. Mongrel this, mongrel that. I collected my dog and faced off with an apoplectic middle-aged woman. "She bit my duck! She bit my duck! That cost me $100 vet bill! I'll call the council!" I promised to come back once I'd put Lu back inside.

She was raging! Pointed out paw prints in the mud, but grudgingly admitted she'd not actually seen Lucy do anything - indeed, she hadn't seen Lucy before that day. When did it happen, I enquired? "Yesterday," she sputtered! Ah, but Lucy wasn't out yesterday. "The day before then," she groaned. I agreed to pay the vet-bill, all the while protesting Lucy's innocence - considering it "neighbour tax" and helpfully warning her about the many dogs in the street, not to mention the area. She was nice as pie once she had the money in her hot little hand.

Then yesterday we were putting the final touches on a dog proof fence -- 6-foot high, staked into the ground, made from electrified adamantium -- and Lucy, recognising the inevitability of yard-bound life and wanting one last fling, saw her opportunity and made a break for it. She'd been somewhat under house arrest for the interim, chained up when we were out and supervised when she went out for a pee, so we were quickly after her.

This time she didn't bother with the neighbour, walking past towards her German suitors, but nevertheless our Crazy Lady neighbour was out there brandishing a pitchfork and flaming brand, with the now-tired threat of a call to the council. Difference? This time she met Dee.

"Calm down, she wasn't even in your yard," I imagine Dee said, but it's hard to be reasonable with unreasonable people. "Good, call the council!" Dee returned with Lucy, then went back for a chat that was reportedly even more frustrating than the first. "She's not a mongrel," Dee explained to me later. "That's just factually incorrect." She did however manage to get a copy of the bill and a receipt for the money I'd paid.

The end result is we're finishing the fence today and hoping our neighbour -- a renter, "townies, eh?" -- was so distraught by the situation that she moves out and we never see her again.


  1. Glad you got a receipt for that $100, some people. I mean, you are doing your best with the fence, it's not like you've just left it and said you'll do it later. Grr. Keep an eye on the house, the day she leaves put little "sorry to see you go" note ROFL

  2. When we moved in, we didn't even have a boundary fence! She don't know how good she got it! *clicks fingers and shakes head*

  3. Hmm.. I must admit I can relate somewhat with the crazy duck lady. When we've been out pushing a pram and walking with Os and we see a big dog unleashed, no owner in site.. it's pretty scary. Especially if they run towards you.. you can't tell if they're being friendly or about to attack, and I've had more than one come barking at us and completely freak out Ossie. You've got a pram in one hand, a toddler climbing up you in the other.. you're pretty much defenseless.

    The $100 thing does sound kind of dodgy, but maybe she was just trying to charge you a "let-your-dog-out tax" :) Either way get that fence sorted out as quickly as possible and try not to start fights with your neighbours ;) Try to remember about how Lucy would look to someone who didn't know her.


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