Disclaimer: This Post Contains Lots of Swears

30 Mar

My sister-in-law and brother-in-law come over for dinner every Sunday. It’s a great time for the kids, as they’re able to pester play with another couple. This Sunday we had an added bonus – my mom and step-dad were coming for dinner too! We were all really excited and spent the morning getting ready be cleaning.

Trust me, we needed to do a little housekeeping.

My in-laws got here and they asked where Duke was. Oops – we’d forgotten to tell them that once again, our annoying neighbors had stolen our dog. They’ve had a history of this, but Duke seemed to stay a lot closer to home this winter, so we assumed that things were back to normal.

Unfortunately he’s started going over there again, and this time he was gone for three days.

Imagine how you’d feel if your beloved family pet had disappeared for 3 days. You’d likely assume that something had happened to him, right? You’d think that he may have been stolen, or that he had gotten into a fight with a larger animal and had lost, or that he were dead.

With my brother-in-law by my side, I figured I’d head over to see if Duke was at the neighbors again. My husband refuses to go over any more because the last time he was there, the guy threatened to shoot him if he didn’t get off of his property.

We walk over the hill with my two Malamutes following us and romping around happily. Now generally, when I get a bit over the top of the hill, the neighbors hear me coming and open the door and let Duke out. I don’t like this situation at all (simply because he’s OUR DOG) but at least I know he’s safe. This time I walked closer and closer and no Duke.

I got up on their porch and had my brother-in-law reign in the boys. The front door on their trailer is a big glass door so you can see right in. I saw the husband sitting there on a recliner with a blanket covering him. I knocked on the door.

“Hey L – get the door.”

I waited. He didn’t move.

“L – get the damn door!”

I waited a few more minute. He didn’t move. Then I heard:

“I don’t care – she can wait out there all fucking day for all I care.”

Huh? At this point I need to interject that we’ve never done anything to these neighbors. We’ve never played a practical joke on them, have never acted rudely to them, and have done nothing to warrant being treated so rudely.

I knew that me knocking on the door wouldn’t get anywhere, and since some men respond better to other men, I decided to have my brother-in-law knock on the door. We switched places, me with the boys and him at the door, and he knocked.

Now answer.

He knocked again and realized, as I had, that you could see the husband on the recliner.

“Have you seen Duke?” He asked through the door.

“Get the fuck off my property, I don’t got nothing to say to you.”

What? What had he just said?! Maybe we heard him wrong…my brother-in-law took a very firm stance, arms crossed on his chest, and asked again.

“You didn’t answer my question. Have you seen Duke?”

“I said get the fuck off of my property! I don’t got nothing to say to you!”

“We want our dog.” my brother-in-law said.

“Get the fuck off of my property! I don’t got nothing to say to you!!”

I realized then that this was going nowhere and that it could very likely get physical if allowed to escalate. I told my brother-in-law to get off of the porch and that we’d go home and call the police. The very attitude proved that Duke was in the house and that they weren’t letting him loose. We started walking home and got halfway back before we saw Duke running full-tilt at us. You’ve never seen a dog more happy in your life. He jumped all over us and happily led the way back home.

I don’t know why these neighbors refuse to leave our dog alone. I don’t know why they insist on bringing him into their house and keeping him in there. If he had been free to walk around that house he would’ve come to the front door when we knocked – that’s just what Duke does. The fact that he didn’t and that he later was let out of the same house proves that they had him in a back room somewhere and were refusing to let him loose.

I am very glad they did let him loose but I wish they could explain to me why it’s okay to take someone else’s dog. Why it’s morally all right to keep him for three days and to act so rude when the true owner of the dog comes knocking on the door inquiring about their beloved pet.

These people assume they know Duke, but they don’t. They only know that he’s a very loving dog, they don’t know what his breed is. They don’t know about his medical history. They don’t know if he’s on a special diet, or if he is on any sort of medication. They profess to love our dog, but they are very likely killing him by keeping him over there the way that they do without knowing what his dietary and medical needs are.

They don’t know how Duke flips out if we take him with us for a walk and if me and/or the kids goes into a house where he’s not allowed in. Duke is very much our family dog. He loves Toad and Babygirl and they adore him. He sleeps in the hallway between the kids bedrooms keeping watch over them every night. He loves going for rides and walks with us and is my mother’s favorite grand-dog.

What should I do?! I hate to hook him up, as he’s never been hooked and generally stays in the area (minus the neighbors house). Whenever we’ve hooked him for any length of time you can see his spirit being broken. Scott wants to get an underground fence, even though I HATE the idea of it, and it’s on the list to purchase once the refinance goes through if this keeps occurring. I’ve tried everything I can think of to stop this from happening, but nothing seems to work. Does anyone have any suggestions?!


9 Responses to “Disclaimer: This Post Contains Lots of Swears”

  1. april March 30, 2009 at 2:05 pm #

    This might be worth a try, but he might be too old to do it now. My parents train their dogs to stay within a certain invisible boundary on their property, and I did the same with my dog, but always as a puppy. Put them on a leash and walk them around where you would like them to stay. When you get to the boundary of the neighbor’s yard, make him stop, turn him, and walk the other direction. Do this several times a day until he begins to recognize that boundary and stops on his own. When he goes past it, bring him back in the yard and do it again. My dog is trained to stop at the pine tree in our front yard. My parents’ dog stops at a particular stump in the front of the property. They instinctively carry that “line” all the way across, so Brownie stops at a direct line with the pine tree even on the other side of the yard. Like I said, they were puppies when we did this, but neither my dog nor my parents has every gotten in the street, even if chasing something.

  2. Finn March 30, 2009 at 2:11 pm #

    If you can’t train him to stay on your property, then the invisible fence is the only other answer I can think of beyond just keeping him inside unless you’re out there with him.

  3. Jen March 30, 2009 at 3:11 pm #

    I have to wonder if they are luring him over with food. It is not right to hold someone else’s pet hostage. The people sound crazy and you should probably bring a gun with you if you have to go there again.

  4. Jenera March 30, 2009 at 3:22 pm #

    Even if he wanders around, they should not be taking him in knowing he is a family dog. That’s just stupid. I would suggest the fence thing too as much as that sucks. It’s better than having to deal with idiots all the time.

  5. Mistress March 30, 2009 at 5:57 pm #

    I would suggest the fence as well. Then a letter with vet bills and medication and if Duke is on a special food diet telling them that if something happens to your dog that you will take legal action because they are holding him hostage. That is really weird. Who does that!?!?!?!?

  6. izaday March 31, 2009 at 7:25 am #

    Can’t you get some sort of retraining order or something on them that allows you to call the police when this happens? They should be fined or taken to jail.

  7. JM March 31, 2009 at 10:47 am #

    The fences and such are nice, but report this to the police. You have witnesses, you have threats, you have them taking your dog multiple times. File with the police EVERY time this happens. That will only help you to show your case.

  8. Cherie March 31, 2009 at 8:57 pm #

    Hi Randi,

    They probably keep your dog because it gives them power over you. Have they ever asked you to keep your dog tied up? Maybe they think if they keep taking your dog when he’s loose, you’ll start hooking your dog up?

  9. natobean May 17, 2009 at 6:54 am #

    Hi Randi,

    I think that the next time you find that Duke has gone “missing” & you suspect that the neighbors have him, call the cops. Explain the situation & the previous threats & have one of the officers escort you when you get your dog. This may deter the neighbors from bringing Duke into their house in the future. If not, continue to call the police & file reports. Their behavior is totally unacceptable. Good luck!

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