Posts Tagged ‘chihuahua’

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About a month ago, a neighbor from the cul-de-sac next door began walking her Chihuahua, Sweet Pea, in the cul-de-sac where Sugar and I live.

Sugar and I had walked past Sweet Pea’s house a few times. We stopped using that route because of the commotion it caused.

Sweet Pea, lounging on her front porch step while tethered to a long tie-out, would streak across the yard like a missile when she saw Sugar, barking ferociously. Sugar would return the barking, accompanied by bucking and lunging on the end of her leash. It made dragging her away a challenge.

When Sweet Pea reached the end of her tether while running at full speed, she’d go airborne, all four paws briefly leaving the ground and her body whirling by the neck. It looked hazardous. So we changed our route to avoid that house.

That’s about the same time Sweet Pea’s owner started walking her down our street. I always knew when because it drove Sugar berserk. She’d run from window to window, room to room, frantic, barking obsessively. It was like a series of bombs going off.

At the end of my own tether (so to speak), I finally approached the neighbor as she walked by with Sweet Pea. I described the commotion and the disruption it caused, told her how I’d been avoiding her house to keep from triggering said commotion and asked if she’d be willing, at least once a day, to please use a route that didn’t take her and Sweet Pea past my house. I had hired a trainer to work with me and Sugar and hoped to see results soon.

She seemed so nice about it,  so understanding. I felt relieved and grateful. And I knew from my own experience that she had other routes easily available. In fact, coming over to my cul-de-sac actually was a bit out of her way.

The next day, she walked Sweet Pea by my house six times. She has every day since. Slowly.

It has taken every bit of will power to keep from just opening the door and letting Sugar run them down. The trainer had a better idea.

After we master the basics, she said, we’ll train on the sidewalk in front of Sweet Pea’s house.








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A neighbor recently acquired a chihuahua after her previous dog, a tiny terrier, disappeared. The terrier never got walked, just let out the front door to wander around the cul-de-sac until his owner would step out on her front porch and holler at him to come back. He might have been stolen, or might have been carried off by a coyote from the national park nearby.

Unfortunately for her neighbors, the owner’s method for “protecting” her new dog from these possibilities is no improvement. She simply ties him up to a tree in her front yard and leaves him there for hours.

Naturally, he yips, yowls, barks and fusses, a daily annoyance for everyone but his owner. People who chain their dogs outside seem capable of ignoring them indefinitely, no matter how much noise they make, much like parents who’ve numbed themselves to the noisy outbursts of their children. It’s no coincidence that this person’s children also are the noisiest on the block.

One day after two hours of continuous canine commotion, I walked over and asked the neighbor if she’d mind bringing the dog back inside for a while.

Her response was a verbal assault of aggressive denial, obfuscation and inaccuracies. He’s only been out 10 minutes, I put him out now instead of at midnight when people are sleeping, he’s supposed to bark at people, I’m tired of snowblowers and lawn mowers waking me up at 7  a.m. but I don’t go into other people’s yards telling them what to do and I want you to tell all the neighbors that…etc.

Yesterday, when the temperature rose to 100, he was out there for three hours. Since he has a water bowl and shade, his situation meets the almost nonexistent standards that prevail in Gary, Indiana for outdoor dogs.  I know from experience how little good it would do to call the city’s animal control department.

What we really need is an owner control department, one that would issue licenses only to people who met the same standards for pet care that good shelters and rescue organizations use, with enforcement and fines that would make it too expensive for people like my neighbor to keep behaving irresponsibly.

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