Welcome to the neighborhood. For these first-time, homeowners, it’s been a learning experience – to say the least. Life lesson #1 – $50 is hardly the amount to spend at Target on Halloween candy, unless you want to be the first house in the neighborhood to run dry – Which I was made keenly aware of by a fella in his early teens dressed as a priest…”You’re out already!? It’s only 8:30!” My bad, my friend – you’re going to have to just starve. Seriously, I’m not on a Michelle Obama rampage restricting the caloric intake of today’s children, stripping the “happy” from the Happy Meal – I simply thought 354 pieces of candy were a bountiful spread to feed a sea of wanton, grabby candy hands.
Note to self, next year: Spend entire paycheck on candy to avoid the lights-off, front porch of shame – and sad, sad hoards of candy-less trick or treat-ers. No treats here, folks.
Our latest offense is our viscous animal, who nipped the 9-year old neighbor girl in a dog vs. bike confrontation in the cul-de-sac. Nothing life threatening – just a warning nip on the hand. Our pup is 100 pounds – and his list of fears is short:
- Sprinkler heads
- The loud hum of the blow dryer
- Pippa (our bug-eyed tortie cat)
- And apparently, neighbor kids on bikes
I truly believe there should be a PSA about approaching unfamiliar dogs. They’re mercurial animals – and when they feel threatened, they react. Later that afternoon, we actually took Scout out to play with that little girl. Letting her throw the ball for him and practicing commands, and after a few minutes – he was ready to be her best friend – and sit, and stay, and fetch and shake.
Here’s where it gets messy. She went to the doctor to get the scratch checked out – and turns out, physicians are required to “report the situation” to a particular state agency, who in turn, “steps in to access the situation.” Now our dog is “a situation.” They have to check to make sure he’s not foaming at the mouth or a descendant of Cerberus (the 3-headed guard dog of Hades – for my fellow Greek mythology junkies). Lovely.
In second grade, I was bit on the face by our neighbor’s dachshund – and it left a palpable scar on my nose. All I can remember is getting yelled out by the owners for “getting in his face” and reprimanded by my parents for being too hyper around it (typical). I don’t remember any governing officials stepping in to “access the situation.” Don’t get me wrong – I don’t want to slide down the slippery slope of right-wing radicalism, but for the love of dog, I just don’t see the need for rabid state intervention and assessment for fickle canines.
In the meantime, we’ll just be over here in the dog-house…and no, we don’t have any candy.